The newly appointed Executive Secretary/CEO of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Otunba Biodun Ajiboye has disclosed that the Institute under his watch will focus more on training political leaders, legislators, diplomats, military and para-military leaders in the Nigeria.
This is in line with one of the Institute’s objectives of serving as a focus for orientation in cultural matters for Nigeria’s policy makers and other government officials.
Otunba Ajiboye who was recently appointed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR alongside 10 others to take over leaderships of parastatals in the Ministry of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, arrived at the Institute’s headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 and went into a closed-door meeting with Management staff.
According to him, NICO has a lot of responsibility, particularly in the area of cultural training where more attention should be channeled to leaders of thought to ensure that all political leaders in the country get exposed to cultural orientations that will reignite our values in them.
His words “we need to reactivate the idea of training and make it more profound among political leaders and legislators. We will take it to Mr. President to give us support and find a way to get through the leadership of the National Assembly to recognize that fact. These are the kind of trainings that we need; trainings that will lead to change of attitude, national cohesion and change of behavior among the citizenry”.
“It is important for us to get our cultural values right because it is one of the most important psychological ways to fight societal decadence and get citizens to be more behaviorally responsible. So, I am more interested in training military leaders; I am more interested in training legislators; I am more interested in training a college of trainers because we need to first of all inculcate in them, the right culture and none of them should go without receiving our cultural training”.
Further stating that without ingraining our cultural values into our day to day life, we are likely to miss our compass for cultural righteousness as a nation, the Executive Secretary identified societal behaviour as a back lash of lack of cultural values and decadence in youth behavioural outlook as results of the loss of our cultural values.
He therefore maintained that acquainting our political leaders, diplomatic leaders and military leaders with our core cultural values will go a long way in achieving our quest for national development.
To him, culture remains the national image that everybody wears and we need to find a way to get it right where the entire country will come to a point of appreciating our culture which can be achieved through collaborative exercises with the Federal Ministry of Education; National Orientation Agency (NOA) and other relevant agencies of government.
While receiving briefs from Directors and Head of Units, Otunba Ajiboye said one of his topmost agenda will be the upgrading of the office environment to a first-class environment.
“We need to first of all find a way to reconfigure the office environment and see how the cultural training aspect of the Institute’s mandate can be more boisterous and energetic than it is. If the environment is not proper, there is no way you can work well. What I am seeing here does not look like a first-class environment. When it becomes first class, people will work better. I am from the private sector and I understand what is called work ethics. If a man does not have a conducive environment and tools to work, how do you expect him to perform”.
“You must agree with me that I have my premeditated vision and what I want to achieve. I came here with the vision to achieve something. The person that brought me here didn’t bring me for the sake of bringing me here, he has brought me here to be able to achieve a set of objectives and since I cannot do it without you, it will be very important that we are on the same page”.
“I don’t see this appointment as government work. I see it as my work so if anybody feels it is government work, that person may not be on my page. I take it as my work because if it pleases God that I should be here at this time, it might as well please Him that I do my best”.
“I want all of you to know that I don’t work with failure. I have never failed in any given assignment and this one will not be an exception. Some of you may think otherwise but I have a reason to say I must succeed. I am more interested in making success in this place, so our aspirations must be the same for us to be on the same page”.
“I want to succeed. All I know is that I was at the forefront of that campaign and we are lucky that we won the election where we have the President produced by us and I owe him every molecule of my efforts; every pint of my blood to support him to succeed. I don’t care about anything or whatever any other person says. In carry my vision along, I will drag anybody that is relevant without any apologies. I don’t believe in failure nor excuses”.
With Otunba Biodun Ajiboye’s appointment, he is now the 6th substantive Executive Secretary/CEO of the Institute since its establishment. His predecessors are: Mrs. Victoria R. Agodo (1992-2000); Dr. Charles K. Gonyok (2000-2004); Mr. J.B Yusuff (2004-2009); Professor Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma (2009-2017); and Ado Muhammed Yahuza (2020-2024).