Integrity refers to the quality of being honest, trustworthy, and morally upright. It is the adherence to ethical principles and values, even in the face of adversity. Integrity is an essential characteristic for individuals, organizations, and societies to function efficiently and effectively. It is crucial for maintaining the trust and respect of others and for building strong relationships based on mutual trust and respect. Without integrity, individuals and organizations risk losing credibility and facing serious consequences, both professionally and personally. Therefore, integrity is an important aspect of personal and professional development, and it should be nurtured and upheld throughout life.

Meaning of Integrity

integrity is the trait of having strong moral ideals or professional standards and firmly upholding them. That is the capacity to uphold moral standards in any circumstance.

Attributes of Integrity

  1. Honesty: Honesty is the foundation of integrity, and it is the ability, to tell the truth, and be transparent in all actions.
  2. Trustworthiness: Integrity is built on trust, and it requires trustworthiness. It is the ability to keep promises and maintain confidentiality.
  3. Accountability: A person with integrity takes responsibility for their actions and is accountable for their mistakes.
  4. Reliability: A person with integrity is dependable and follows through on their commitments.
  5. Transparency: Being transparent means being open and honest about one’s actions and intentions.
  6. Fairness: Integrity requires treating others fairly, without discrimination or favoritism.
  7. Respect: Integrity requires treating others with respect, even if you do not agree with their opinions or actions.
  8. Courage: Integrity requires the courage to do the right thing, even when it is difficult or unpopular.
  9. Compassion: Integrity requires empathy and compassion towards others, especially those who are vulnerable or disadvantaged.
  10. Authenticity: Integrity requires being true to oneself and one’s values, even in the face of adversity.

People of Integrity In Nigeria

Nigeria has a large number of honourable men and women, including the following:

    Professor Wole Soyinka


    Wole Soyinka is widely regarded as a person of integrity in Nigeria, both for his literary contributions and his activism. He is a Nobel laureate in literature and has written numerous works of literature that have been celebrated internationally.

    Beyond his literary achievements, Soyinka is known for his activism and outspokenness on issues of social justice, human rights, and democracy in Nigeria. He has been an advocate for the rule of law, good governance, and accountability, and has been a vocal critic of corruption and abuse of power in the country.

    Soyinka has also been involved in various human rights campaigns and organizations in Nigeria, including the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) and the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO). He has been at the forefront of the struggle for the restoration of democracy in Nigeria and has been jailed several times for his activism.

    Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala


    Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is widely recognized as a person of integrity in Nigeria, as well as internationally. She is a Nigerian-American economist, who served as Nigeria’s finance minister twice, from 2003 to 2006 and from 2011 to 2015. During her tenure, she implemented several economic reforms, such as strengthening the country’s financial systems, increasing transparency and accountability, and reducing corruption. She also played a key role in negotiating debt relief for Nigeria, which helped the country to improve its economic situation. Okonjo-Iweala is also known for her work with international organizations, such as the World Bank, where she served as managing director. In 2021, she became the first woman and the first African to be appointed as the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, which is a testament to her leadership skills and integrity.

    Dr. Tai Solarin


    Dr Tai Solarin was widely regarded as a person of integrity in Nigeria. He was a renowned educator, social activist, and philanthropist who dedicated his life to promoting education and social justice in Nigeria. He was known for his honesty, transparency, and commitment to the welfare of the people. Dr Tai Solarin founded Mayflower School in Ikenne, Ogun State, which became one of the most prestigious secondary schools in Nigeria. His legacy continues to inspire many Nigerians to work towards a better future for their country.

    Femi Falana


    Femi Falana is a respected Nigerian lawyer, human rights activist, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). He is known for his strong advocacy for human rights and his contributions to the Nigerian legal system. Falana has been involved in several high-profile cases, including cases against multinational corporations and corrupt government officials. His work has earned him a reputation for integrity and honesty.

    Chief Emeka Anyaoku


    Chief Emeka Anyaoku is a well-respected Nigerian diplomat who served as the third Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations from 1990 to 2000. He is known for his advocacy for democracy, good governance, and human rights. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his contributions to the global community, including the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George, and the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development. Many people view him as a person of integrity due to his distinguished career and commitment to public service.

    Chief Gani Fawehinmi


    Chief Gani Fawehinmi was widely regarded as a person of integrity in Nigeria. He was known for his fearless and uncompromising stance on social justice, human rights, and the rule of law. He spent most of his life fighting against corruption and oppression in Nigeria and advocating for the rights of the poor and marginalized.

    Fawehinmi was also known for his principled approach to politics and his commitment to democratic ideals. He ran for president of Nigeria several times but was never elected. He refused to compromise his values or engage in political horse trading, even when it might have benefited him personally.

    Despite facing numerous obstacles and challenges, Fawehinmi remained steadfast in his convictions and continued to speak the truth to power until his death in 2009. His legacy as a champion of the oppressed and a defender of human rights lives on, and he is widely regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of Nigeria.

    Prof. Olikoye Ransome Kuti


    Prof. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti was a Nigerian physician, public health expert, and administrator who served as the Minister of Health in Nigeria from 1985 to 1992. He is widely regarded as one of Nigeria’s most respected public figures and was known for his integrity, honesty, and commitment to public service.

    During his tenure as Minister of Health, Prof. Ransome-Kuti implemented several policies that had a significant impact on Nigeria’s healthcare system, including the establishment of the National Program on Immunization and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control.

    He was also known for his fight against corruption in the healthcare system and his efforts to improve the quality of healthcare services in Nigeria. Prof. Ransome-Kuti was widely respected for his honesty, professionalism, and dedication to public service.

    In 1988, he was named the “Man of the Year” by Time magazine for his contributions to the improvement of public health in Nigeria. His legacy continues to inspire many young Nigerians today, and he is regarded as a role model for future generations of leaders in Nigeria.

    Dora Akunyili


    Dora Akunyili was a Nigerian pharmacist, academic, and public servant who served as the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) from 2001 to 2008. During her tenure, she fought against counterfeit drugs and unsafe food products, making her a respected figure in Nigeria and beyond.

    Akunyili was also known for her integrity and courage in the face of threats and intimidation. She spoke out against corruption and impunity, and her efforts earned her numerous awards and recognition, including the Time 100 list of the world’s most influential people in 2006.

    Gen. Muritala Ramat Mohammed


    General Muritala Ramat Mohammed was a Nigerian military leader who served as the Head of State of Nigeria from July 1975 until his assassination in February 1976. He was known for his integrity and honesty, which earned him the respect and admiration of many Nigerians.

    During his brief tenure as Head of State, General Mohammed implemented several reforms aimed at curbing corruption and improving governance in Nigeria. He initiated a campaign to root out corrupt officials from the government, and he also worked to reduce the influence of foreign companies in the Nigerian economy.

    General Mohammed’s reputation as a person of integrity was further enhanced by his refusal to accept the trappings of power that came with his position. He was known for his modesty and his willingness to lead by example, often traveling in a small Peugeot car instead of the more luxurious vehicles typically used by government officials.

    Need For People of Integrity

    People with integrity are desperately needed in any community for the following reasons:

    1. Community development: Without individuals of integrity, funds intended for community development would be embezzled, slowing the community’s progress.

    2. Peaceful coexistence: In every civilization, peaceful coexistence is a crucial foundation of progress. Integrity-driven men and women will always try to keep the peace in the community. Therefore, we need honest individuals to contribute to maintaining social peace and pace.

    3. Role models for children: Children need role models to look up to if they are to grow up to be persons of integrity. Therefore, people in positions of responsibility, such as educators, administrators, parents, and politicians, must act with integrity. 4. To improve our reputation abroad, men and women of integrity are important human resources. A nation’s residents would enjoy great respect abroad if it had men and women of good character and shown integrity.

    5. Responsible Youth: If there are many men and women in our society who are honest, then our youth will inevitably generate honest boys and girls.

    6. To halt evil practices: We need young people, men and women of integrity if crimes like bribery and corruption are to end.

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