#ChangeBeginsWithMe: The Unnecessary Shenanigans of the Change Brigade – Adeeko Ademola Abayomi

When you pour water on the head, it flows down to the legs. You don’t pour water on the legs and expect it to come up to the head. Yesterday, we were entertained to an odd logic that suggests water should be poured on the legs and then it’ll be expected flow up. Natural logic should be applied to this change thing.

There is nowhere in the world where responsible follower-ship precedes responsible leadership. The former comes before the latter.

Having said this, I will like us to note that the #ChangeBeginsWithMe campaign launched by the Ministry of Information via the National Orientation Agency is a laudable one. Don’t get me wrong, it is one campaign that is long overdue for the necessary reorientation of the Nigerian people.

However, I have this feeling that responsible leadership breeds responsible follower-ship basically because I believe the best way to set people to a task is to show them through example. And therein lies the difference between a boss and a leader.

Considering how long Nigerians have been in this abusive relationship with the government, it will make more sense if a government that proclaims change to actually take the lead in showing its seriousness about its proclamations, and not dictate attitudinal change. Dictation is for dictators while leadership by example is for true leaders.

Now, what is change? Change is to become different; to make (someone or something) different; to become something else entirely different from the normal.

With that definition, I will honestly say that the present administration has shown basically little or nothing to show that they’re who they claim to be.

Now, let me address some little but key decisions that were not taken, which would have been the moral justification on which this government would have leveraged, to challenge Nigerians to change.

We all complained about waste in Government under GEJ/PDP, particularly, the over-bloated presidential fleet of jets. Months have passed now, nothing has changed. Now, it’s either the waste doesn’t matter anymore or somehow, the government had forgotten it’s promises. Aso Rock still expends millions to feed the President. There is still widespread poor communication mechanism. Media aides are everywhere attacking Nigerians for asking questions but somehow, this government still does not think change begins with it? We’re not ready.

Even though, selling off the extra jets won’t take us out of recession but please find out how much it takes to maintain 1 jet, let alone 9. Recently, Malawi’s new president sold off presidential jets and 60 Mercedes cars in the presidential fleet just to raise funds to avert food crisis in the country but Nigeria still spends its own resources to maintain a fleet of unnecessary jets in this time of recession.

Sometime last year, the President promised to disclose his assets publicly, a promise nobody forced him to make. Till date, it remains a secret. That is not the body language of a government that is serious about change.

Let us take a cue from Kaduna State Governor, Nasir Elrufai. Immediately he was sworn in as governor, Elrufai slashed his salary by 50 % and even that of his staff. He immediately set a tone that very moment to make his people understand that his government wasn’t there to make money but to serve the people.

I agree that our psyche, as Nigerians, has been messed up so much that a verbal campaign like#ChangeBeginsWithMe will achieve nothing, especially with the people groaning under current hardship.

I have not said the campaign is bad but we should have enough intuition to know that you’re asking Nigerians to change meanwhile you have done nothing to show that you want to bring change.

The act in which government makes sacrificial demands from a populace that have benefited nothing from it is unbecoming. People in government need to understand the responsibility that comes with leadership. Sacrifices and Leadership via example are the best tools to get even your enemies to do certain things. You cannot be living in affluence and then expect Nigerians who put their all on the line to make a living under harsh economic conditions to embark on fruitless sacrifices.

The government needs to look inwards and realize that the real change begins with it. When you make sacrifices, you have earned a moral justification to challenge others to  make sacrifices too. If not, you’re only going to succeed in agitating further an already angry people.

#ChangeBeginsWithMe is a good initiative however, not from a government that has shown little or nothing to kick-start the change it promised.

I have said my own, you can now insult my parents. Cheers!

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