Buhari gave the advice in Abuja at the 2017 Annual Congress and Scientific Conference of Nigerian Psychological Association (NPA) with the theme: ”Psychology, Attitude Change and National Development “.
She was represented by Dr Hajo Sani, her Senior Special Assistant.
The wife of the president noted that the problems that plunged the country into the current economic, security and social crisis were attitudinal, some of which included greed, corruption, poor planning, resource wastage, stereo-typing and intolerance.
She noted that counselling and educational psychologists had made valuable contributions to the improvement of teacher-student relationship through effective learning.
Buhari added that psychology had made landmark contributions to medical improvements.
”As behavioural scientists, you know that negative attitudes are highly implicated in the ample traditional practices associated with child abuse, human trafficking, gender-based violence, among others
”The present administration believes that the most valuable opinion to mobilising positive social action for inclusive society, ethical reorientation and national development is strategy and attitude change,’’ she said
Buhari urged the association to examine research evidence on attitude change factors and strategies that were critical for national development.
She also advised the association to study social-cultural factors that promoted social inclusiveness and peaceful co-existence to propose actionable recommendation to the Federal Government and variable implementation.
According to her, the association needs to consider various ways to curb industrial crisis in the health and education sectors to reduce the human capital economic calamities of the nation.
Prof. Michael Ezenwa, President-elect of NPA, said that to contribute to the rebuilding of Nigeria and attitude change, ‘’we must change our attitudes towards the people and government.’’
Ezenwa said that capacity building was one of the ways to develop members of the association and the populace and stressed the need to work with government agencies to rebuild the country.
”No country can develop Nigeria; only Nigerians can develop Nigeria. We have to know that this is our country and we have no other place than Nigeria so we must develop Nigeria.
”We have to explore opportunities of developing our awareness of security and our environment, so we need a lot of collaboration in various government agencies,” he said.
Prof. Andrew Zamani, outgoing President, NPA, said there was new hope for psychologists in the country and that the association had a lot of role to play in the development of Nigeria.
”Psychology as a discipline has not been given the recognition that it deserves with regards to the technical contribution that it can make to Improving a lot of people in the country,’’ he said.