Participatory Change: ”Change Begins With Me” A Socio-Morale-Engineering By Ade Ilemobade
Socio-moral re-engineering can be galvanised from multi directional sources bottom-up or top-down. Whichever direction an agent of change decides to take the fundamental prerequisite for me is that it must be participatory no matter what because participatory change is at the pinnacle of every socio-moral re-engineering of human society and individuals or citizenry in this case Nigerians must be the nucleus, vangaurd of the change we are looking for in our clime that is why in my opinion the slogan ”CHANGE BEGINS WITH ME” is an appropriate banner to be used to herald and sensitize the citizenry to adopt a new culture cum mindset of doing things.
This campaign is not directed specifically to political change only rather it is an all encompassing socio-moral re-engineering instrumentarium which at the end of the day will give us a vivid picture and understanding of factors that motivate our behaviour as individual Nigerians.
I could recall that in the Netherlandse government launched a similar campaign about environmental awareness with a banner reading “EEN BETER MILIEU BEGINT BIJ JEZELF” directed specifically at the citizenry to conscientize them about the significance of preserving, protecting nature and all things that have to do with the environment this action was taking because of the realization that awareness from the bottom-up would have and achieve exponential result given the mass in respect of numbers involved. This is not meant to excuse exemplary leadership since that is another catalyst motivation wise to get the citizenry buy into the process of socio-moral or environmental consciousness.
Since the launching of the campaign ”CHANGE BEGINS WITH ME” I have read several write-ups based on many unhelpful assumptions about the objectives and appropriateness of this campaign, some have even gone to the absurdity of politicizing what ordinarily should be an acceptable national re-orientation excercise.
They went to town talking about voting or electioneering that led to the emergence of the present administration given the populace the impression that the only change that must happen should start from the top. This is a jaundiced logic because it is not always/necessarily so that if a top-down change happens that the masses will sheepishly re-adjust for some kind of equalization in terms of their civic responsibility rather most successful socio-moral re-engineering happened as a result of psychological metamorphosis, behavioural and attitudinal re-adjustment achieved from a bottom-up campaigns because of the critical mass population wise.
If we have attitudinal re-adjustment at the top when the people at the grassroot are not conscientized enough and they go on with business as usual as I have observed in all my visits to Nigeria we will be going nowhere. This campaign is not about Naira and Dollar, it is about behavioural change and plasticity of our brain to adjust and adapt to our new experience in socio-moral re-engineering.
From the foregoing ”CHANGE BEGINS WITH ME” is about an all encompassing re-engineering model. Our leaders cannot do it alone citizens must champion and own the new ways of thinking and mental attitude of doing things in order words for the change from the top as espoused by the critics of the this campaign to have any meaningful existence we need to have reverse juxtapositioning.
It is not enough to pass the buck to the leadership since attitudinal or ”cultural revolution” has a symbiotic mechanism, it is very important that the followership must start to buy into it at their level since the CHANGE BEGINS WITH THEM ALSO.
Please note that this campaign is an attempt by government to encourage Nigerians to self define what their principles and values are as we move forward with the process of influencing attitude and changing behaviours that is the raison d’être for this campaign in my opinion.
In conclusion our critical analysis of the conceptualization cum interpretation of ”CHANGE BEGINS WITH ME” coupled with our consideration of its practicability shall confirm to us that it is a consciousness raising trajectory that is expected to create personality change. Please do not draw political capital from this campaign.
OTUNBA ADE ILEMOBADE is a philosopher
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