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Acting President Yemi Osinbajo says the greatest tragedy a nation can experience is a corrupt civil service because the “power to do good or evil” lies there.
Speaking on Tuesday during ?an inaugural civil service lecture at the presidential villa in Abuja, Osinbajo said civil servants represented the most important factor for mass development.
Lighting up the mood of those in attendance, Osinbajo said though civil servants were referred to as “evil servants”, they must “take heart”.
He also urged civil servants to eschew seeking personal gains in the discharge of their duties.
“It was the judiciary that told the military then that while it may make laws, those laws should still respect the inalienable rights of the people as enshrined in international human right conventions to which the country had voluntarily acceded,” he said.
“These were individuals without guns, just sitting down on platforms up there in the court, who insisted on holding the military responsible.
“Despite the criticisms that civil servants are subjected to, I am sure that you know that sometimes civil servants are described as ‘evil servants’ but you must take heart, the best profession are usually the most criticised, but I must say that the wholesome privilege of public service is very easily abused or taken for granted. The public service elite represents as we have seen the most important factor in mass development.
“The power to do great good or evil lies with a few people who form what we refer to as our civil service, when some in such an elite see the opportunity as one for self enrichment by corrupt practices then the nation faces a monumental tragedy.
“There is no excuse anywhere in a nation where the majority are still poor and are struggling to make a living that anyone who has the benefit of good education and good fortune of a job in the civil service should subvert that service for personal gains, I think it’s the greatest tragedy that a nation can experience.”