President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday September 8 presented his vision for a better Nigeria, an incorruptible abode where drivers don’t run red lights and internet scams are a thing of the past.
In Buhari’s Nigeria, police turn down bribes from rich men driving SUVs, militants in the oil-rich Niger delta lay down their arms, waste is actually disposed in bins and workers are punctual.
“I won’t sell my body for marks,” a student is seen saying in a promotional video to launch the initiative before a gathering of high-profile politicians in the presidential villa in Abuja.
“I no go do yahoo yahoo or 419 again,” says another in pidgin English, referring to the online scams originating from Nigeria that have snared victims around the world.
The “re-orientation campaign” conjures up images of social engineering and Big Brother-style state control but Buhari maintained it was first and foremost about a change in “mindset”.
We must resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship, pettiness and immaturity that have poisoned our country for so long.
You must first ask how far have I changed my ways? What have I done to be part of the change?
The campaign, set to an infectious jingle with the lyrics “change begins with me”, appears to be a gentler revamp of the “war on indiscipline” Buhari introduced as military ruler in the 1980s.
Still, Buhari emphasised that by changing “personal behaviour” the country can overcome hard times.
Every one of us must have a change from our old ways of doing things. We cannot fold our arms and allow things to continue the old way.