For a couple of days now, every where has been buzzing with sundry and equivocal views about the new reorientation campaign launched by President Muhammadu Buhari. Truth be told I had expected such pace of reaction from Nigerians who are more than thumb-happy to spread their pro/anti gospels on the face of social media; after all, the country is in… well you know how the story goes.
It is tradition that in any political-oriented message, there are always two divides; one in support and the other which opposes no matter how beneficial that message is to the good of the people (Erm that was a generalized statement oh before you start saying I am pro-this or that). Thus the #Changebeginswithme campaign has had its fair share of ‘MISINFORMED’ opposition not necessarily out of political sentiments but perhaps justifiably misguided by the urge to find a loophole in the initiative.
Twitter #tags are without a doubt one of my go-to places to see the grieved opinions people have to share about a particular trend as well as the support it fetches, and twitter has been buzzing with all kinds of views on this campaign; some reflective, some fascinating, and others just absurdly ridiculous.
For a second forget the possibility of you and I being pro/anti Buhari and just look at the provisions of this reorientation campaign. This is a campaign put in place to address our behavioral attitude towards issues of personal and collective concern, here is a campaign telling you to try and see things differently, not like you have been seeing from the angle of the past administration, the angle of your political affiliation, the angle of your natural convictions, or the angle of the popular story, but from an angle which questions whether or not these convictions of yours, and the popular story could be seen in another light.
This is a campaign telling you and me to look differently at how we see our neighbours (Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, and others), how we act towards and react to them, how we entertain our stereotypical assertions and perhaps that, from within us, would become the starting point of realizing the change we all want.
Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! I know the popular questions being directed at President Muhammadu Buhari, I have seen them, the question of how this ‘#Changebeginswithme’ campaign helps the economy back to its feet, how will this campaign feed the millions of hungry Nigerians living below a dollar per day, someone went as far as getting pictures of malnourished children, posting it on twitter and captioning with questions of how the campaign was meant to help these kids survive; not to sound sensational, I will maintain my reservations about just how far some people are willing to go to make a point without necessarily understanding the argument.
If I must though, let me tell you how this campaign can help address the above mentioned questions or some of it at lease. I am no economy expert; you have your professionals to do that so let’s make some logical point because sometimes that’s just ALL WE NEED!
Bear in mind that while I make these points I am in cognizance with government’s responsibilities to its people, but please and please can we just take the focus off of government and look at us generally even if it’s just for the purpose of this article. Can we do that? Okay good.
This campaign seeks to reorient us to begin to see things differently, not to make excuses for the government but to begin to see things differently. Now just imagine; if Nigerians truly begin to imbibe the attitude of being their brother’s keeper, would we really need government to help each other out in achieving our common goals.
Remember when we entertained communal effort to realizing various projects? Remember when members of different households would contribute financial assistance to help out another household put a pot of food on the fire stand? Remember when community members bought transformers for themselves all out of the little money they have in their pockets? Remember the community scholarship some of us had enjoyed courtesy of the little assistance from various members of our community? If you are asking how these questions of mine correlate with perhaps the answers to your questions about the campaign, here is another rhetorical question for you then, what have ‘WE’ done now to help?
I make emphasis on ‘WE’ as a collective entity not to discard or disregard the impact of individual efforts but to bring you closer to understanding what the campaign is hoping to achieve… a collective purpose spread over the country which in turn reforms our attitude towards progressive opportunities we keep missing by our endless bleat.
If we see it as a collective problem then we do not have to wait for the government to feed the hungry, my neighbor and I will try and feed the family next door because their problem now is partly ours. If we see it as a collective disaster then we don’t have to wait for government to assist the malnourished children at the IDP camps before we provide the little relief materials we can afford to these unfortunate victims. It is therefore disheartening that this very simple request which will yield much result is made to look like sweet words spoken by a dragon to tempt a poor miner into venturing further into its fire cave. To put it short, the #Changebeginswithme campaign is just seeking to bring back that communal attitude we once had.
I do not make excuses for Buhari’s administration for those who think this is what that is, I simply try to make you see what this campaign, when fully embraced, will bring to the table. I dare you to try it, embrace it, and see if it doesn’t change your perception about me. Therefore sir, President Muhammadu Buhari, my name is Abubakar Abdul and #Changebeginswithme.
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