THE Nigerians in the Diaspora Monitoring Group (NDMG) has thrown its weight behind the “Change Begins With Me” campaign.
The group said the campaign offers the last hope of restoring respectability to Nigeria and Nigerians abroad.
An electronic statement issued by NDMG noted the campaign could turn out to be the greatest initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government because of the multiple spin off benefits that its adoption could fetch the country.
The statement by the United Kingdom Coordinator of the group, Engr Adeka Onyilo, explained that many of the challenges besetting Nigeria would be addressed in part by the campaign, which it pointed out as being long overdue.
It said, “Any Nigerian who has travelled outside the shores of the country would attest to the stereotyped perception of Nigeria that is largely negative because of the ills committed by a few. A widespread adoption of the ‘Change Begins With Me’ campaign would bring about more individuals changing their ways at personal level, which would then multiply to present a positive image of the country.
“We are confident that those in leadership position will have no option but to align their conducts with global best practice once they see a citizenry that is galvanised to change the country since followership plays a greater role in how leaders implement their mandate.
“Our expectation is that the resulting improvement in the perception of Nigeria would boost the confidence of foreign investors to do business in Nigeria and strengthen the image of the country as a tourist destination. It would also improve the ability of those of us in the Diaspora to get employment and do business in our countries of residence.
“The appeal to the federal government is not to be daunted by those who are attacking the campaign because they are yet to fully understand its implications for national life. Instead of succumbing to the blackmail and condemnation of the campaign, the government should see it as the impetus to reach out to more Nigerians with the message of change.
“As people who have experiences that are constant reminders of the way the old Nigeria was perceived, we urge Nigerians irrespective of their location or age to see it as a wake up call to be more patriotic and proud citizens of our dear country.