Buhari's Change campaign embroiled in plagiarism allegation
Lai Mohammed denies allegations
Less than two weeks after President Mohammadu Buhari launched his administration’s national orientation campaign, allegations have surfaced that the project was a product of plagiarisation. The Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who was fingered in the complaint have now denied it.
The charge of plagiarism was made against the outspoken Minister by two media consultants, Akin Fadeyi and Omor Bazuaye, who insisted the Minister cloned their national orientation ideas and turned same to Change Begins with Me.
But while admitting that he indeed received the said proposal, including about 19 others, since his appointment last year, he however insisted that the “Change Begins With Me” project was already concluded as at October 31, 2015, including all radio jingles and TV commercials.
The Minister described the allegation as ridiculous and baseless. “The Change Begins With Me campaign is entirely my creation and nobody including Akin Fadeyi can claim I borrowed his or her idea or accuse me of plagiarism,” he said, adding that by the 31st of October 2015 all radio jingles and TV commercials had been completed.
Mohammed said having completed all the radio jingles and TV commercials for Change Begins With Me campaign on October 31st 2015, it was unthinkable that Akin Fadeyi who was sent to him in December 2015 would allege that he stole his ideas. The Minister also promised to provide evidence that he had concluded work on the campaign before his accusers came up with their proposals.
“While it is true that I received over 20 proposals across the country, including from eminent TV giants like Jimmy Johnson (alias Okoro), I told each and every one of them that I had already concluded work on the project.
“It is to the credit of Mr. Jimmy Johnson that despite being one of the first to approach me with his proposal, he was one of the first to congratulate me on the successful launch of the campaign. He is alive; you can corroborate my story with him.
In an article, Omor Bazuaye accused the Minister of plagiarizing their concept, “Not In My Country” and changed it to Change Begins With Me.”
“We received with utter shock and disbelief attempt by the Federal Government through its Ministry of Information and National Orientation to clone and plagiarize our work, “Not In My Country”, in what it now calls “Change Begins With Me”.