Weekly Commentary – 19/09/2016

Change Begins with me – Buhari Rhetoric


On the 08/09/2016, the ministry of information in conjunction with National Orientation Agency launched the “Change begins with me” campaign where President Buhari was the guest speaker. The event initiative is geared towards re-orientation of Nigerians to all be agents of change re-instill patriotism and discipline in Nigerians.

The initiative is a welcome development. The message of discipline and patriotism can no be over emphasized. The depth of indiscipline and perfidy in Nigerians has been repeatedly demonstrated and exemplified by Politically Exposed People regardless of the change in government.

Let’s pause for a moment, this initiative brings something to mind – re-branding Nigeria all over again. The ‘Late Dora Akunyilli’s Nigeria: Good people, Great Nation’ – do you remember? How long did it fly for? Not very long!

The problem is not the initiative or the message, the problem is whether the people that are the brain behind the initiative believe in it.

Firstly, you can’t be a guest  in your own house. PMB was the guest speaker at the launch of this campaign and I kept wondering why. I know he can’t do everything but if it is a cause you believe in and you have sold yourself to people to get elected on the platform, may be you should not have been called a guest speaker. To effect this change, people won’t change because you appear as a guest on a programme not because the whole of the institutions of government keep repeating the rhetoric, people will only change when the propagators own the Change they want to see. Which brings me to my next point – The speech.

A lot has been said about the speech of PMB at the event. While it is clearly more than coincidence that paragraph in Obama’s victory speech of 2008 were lifted nearly to every letter. This kind of thing throws shade on the light before it even begins. History has shown that Nigeria is not a country that is tricked by fancy display of words but Nigerians are people of guts and actions rather than eloquence. If it was eloquence the last 3 presidents of Nigerian wouldn’t have been elected.

This is probably the only crusade that any government can bring that demands nothing but originality, trustworthiness, and credibility. If your speechwriters are not convinced enough to assist you in selling your message to Nigerians, I’m sorry your message is dead on arrival.

If we also want change to begin with me. As this unannounced austerity bites. Let’s half the emolument of all political officeholders. Including their imprest. Atleast, there is nothing like a career politician. You must have an occupation before politics so we can as well keep reduce their income and they can augment it with what they make elsewhere. Senegal closed its senate heavens did not fall. If full time civil servants who have no other source of income can be encouraged to take on other employments outside government, some on half of their salaries for more than a year. Some owed up to 3 months in arrears. Let’s not kid about the change and lead by examples that are visual, visible and feasible.

Just my opinion.

See below the speech!

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