Change campaign is solely information minister’s idea – Consultant

Solomon Chung, Abuja

The Nigerian government’s re-orientation campaign, ‘Change Begins With Me’, which was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari, is solely the concept of Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, a communication consultant Mr. Brian Ebden has said.
Mr. Ebden stated this while reacting to an allegation by some people that they were part of the conceptualization of the idea.
He said there was no truth in the allegation and that some persons were mischievously promoting falsehood.
In a press statement signed by Mr Brian Ebden and made available to VON’s correspondent,  the consultant stated that the Minister had the idea and only involved some people to be a part of the process.
“Together with the advertising agency, Centerspread, we were contacted a
week after Alhaji Lai Mohammed was nominated as Minister by the
President to attend a brainstorming workshop on Thursday 8th October
2015 at the White House Hotel in Ikeja.

At this briefing, Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s first statement was that once he has taken office, he wishes to launch a change campaign entitled, “Change begins with me.” It was Centerspread’s and my task was to develop the communications campaign and strategy, following an in-depth briefing which we received at this session. I have irrefutable evidence in the form of emails that two days later (10th October 2015), I sent the entire strategy document to Alhaji Lai Mohammed detailing the first stage of the communications plan. This e-mail was entitled (in capital letters, CHANGE BEGINS WITH ME).”

According to the consultant, by 30th October of 2015, the entire first generation creative work was sent to Lai Mohammed which included the first created logo, artwork, jingles and TV concepts. A month later, both agencies attended a presentation session at Radio House in Abuja where two campaigns were presented to a contingent of more than 100 people of the Ministry of Information and Culture which included NTA, FRCN and
NOA and it was already stated that the campaign was “Change begins with me.”
“Over the ensuing weeks following this initial presentation, the Honourable Minister repeatedly mentioned the impending campaign by its name and it was duly reported in the media.
Mr Ebden added that on Sunday 24th January, this year, at the Southern Sun Hotel in Lagos, the Minister then presented the campaign to all major artists and personalities in the Nigerian creative industry who included King Sunny Ade, Pasuma, MI, Don Jazzy, P Square, Mo Abudu and many others.
“Nothing was plagiarized because none of those making the ridiculous claim admitted meeting Alhaji Lai Mohammed on any proposal before he was nominated and sworn into office. Yet, it is on record, as I stated in the statement, that the whole ‘change begins with me’ concept was formulated and concluded by the Minister long before he was sworn into office in November 2015.”

The Change Begins With Me campaign was officially launched by President Mohammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja aimed at achieving attitudinal and behavioral change among Nigerians.