Nigeria Rebranding: Experts Call for Change of Mindset

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Raheem Akingbolu

The Founder and Board of Trustee member of the Mindshift Advocacy for Development Initiative, Mr. Joko Okupe and a former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Adamawa State and member BOT, Mindshift Advocacy for Development Initiative, Ahmad Sajoh, have said Nigeria cannot develop if Nigerians don’t change their way of thinking.

Okupe, said this, during the launch of the Mindshift Advocacy for Development Initiative in Lagos, recently.

The Lagos, was targeted at the youths. The event tagged, ‘Lagos 70,’ saw the attendance of discerning, empowered and motivated youths and young-at-heart Nigerians who trooped into the venue to be part of the advocacy group.

Various speakers made presentations at the event to inspire and activate a radical and positive change in the mindset of the young people present who would serve as Mindshift catalysts in the society.
In the first presentation, the board of trustee member introduced the concept, vision and mission of Mindshift. He rationalised the need for a mental shift by all Nigerians.

“We have to change the way we think. I mean to change our mindset – the way we perceive things, our values, our priorities, our beliefs, in fact our worldview. We need to inspire all positive possibilities as more Nigerians buy into the idea of Mindshift.”

He explained that, “Nigeria’s problems, and by extension that of the African continent, is the mindset of Africans as individuals, communities and nations, about themselves and the mindset of the rest of the world about Africa.

“The wrong mindset of Nigerians and Africans in general which influences the way we do things, has created myriads of problems for us such as: lack of visionary and purposeful leadership, bad governance standards, erosion and loss of good value systems, corruption, poor understanding of global issues and how it impacts their lives; unprecedented never-ending poverty, heavy debt burdens, over dependence on international aids, endless conflicts, inadequate education etc.”

According to him, the initiative was incorporated as a non-partisan movement that all Nigerians can effectively identify with and get involved to tackle this menace that has kept Nigeria and the entire African continent down for so long.

Sajoh, in his presentation, explained that the Mindshift movement was focused on redirecting the mindset of Nigerians from negative, unproductive and fatalistic thinking; to positive, productive and progressive mindsets.

He said: “When you look at the great nations of the world, you will discover that their people have mindsets of greatness. How can we have progress and development when majority of our citizens have the wrong mindset?
“We cannot achieve any meaningful transformation without a re-orientation of the citizens’ mindsets. Even when government decides to run a campaign on changing attitudes, the success will depend on whether the mindsets of the citizens have changed or not. We cannot but pay attention to how people think”