By Monsuru Olowoopejo
LAGOS — MINISTER of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, yesterday, refuted claims by Chief Afe Babalola and Akin Fadeyi, that the Federal Government’s national re-orientation campaign, ‘Change Begin with Me’ was a copyright version of drama skits ‘Not In My Country’ initiative.
Mohammed’s reaction came barely seven days after a senior lawyer at the Afe Babalola Chambers, Adebayo Adenipekun, wrote to the President, alleging that the initiative launched to bring attitudinal change in the country, originated from him and was taken from his project: ‘Not In My Country.’
The minister made the explanation after unveiling the national re-orientation campaign to stakeholders in the private sector in Lagos.
He noted that the idea behind the national re-orientation was designed and completed two months before he met Fadeyi.
He said: “I was nominated in October and the moment I was nominated, I called my team and I told them that the most important thing was to change the attitude of Nigerians. I am happy that the agencies that worked on the idea are here today.
“We started working on the initiative immediately and on 14 October, 2015 when I was confirmed as a minister, I had completed work on the initiative. I made available to the media, incontrovertible evidence that by October 14th, 2015, I had completed work on the initiative.
“On 31 October, 2015, I had completed the radio jingles and television commercials. After we had completed work on the programme, Mr. Akin Fadeyi came to me on December 30th, 2015.
So, how can one accuse me of stealing an idea which was completed by October last year? The person, who claimed that I stole his idea came to me in December. Mr. Akin Fadeyi, Afe Babalola and I will meet in court.”
Earlier, Director General of the National Orientation Agency, NOA, Garba Abare, said the initiative was aimed at making citizens major players in the redevelopment of the country.