n IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal - A content analysis of required factors for attitudinal change among military personnel in the Nigerian Army




One of the basic issues confronting the Nigerian Army is that the military must assess how the 33 years of military involvement in politics have affected the understanding of what it means to be a professional soldier. There is a general concern that the military has lost its traditions and professionalism and left with a battered image both locally and internationally. Part of the strategy to reposition the army was a purge of all officers with politically tainted career and a drive for attitude change. A major concern was whether the change program as conceived by the political and military leadership was adequately communicated and imbibed by military personnel, which is fundamental to its success. Discussed within the framework of consistency theory, which is premised upon the assertion that there must be consistency in a program communication and the understanding by the target for change to occur, we propose that if change is to occur in the Nigerian Army, the change propositions identified by military personnel will reflect the objectives and goals of the change project. This study therefore adopts the thematic content analysis method without a priori assumptions of what constitute attitude change. This method allows respondents to discuss the topic in their own words, free of constraints from fixed-response questions found in quantitative studies. Attitude themes and change themes found in the content are further analyzed by SPSS to establish within the group distribution and the statistical relationships. The findings show that welfare, promotions and compensation issues were top concerns while institutional factors necessary to promote professionalism in the army such as loyalty of the institution, selfless service, candor and courage are either absent or sparingly mentioned. Leadership problems were reported with minority calls for EFCC probe and a revolution. We also found a latent conflict between the military personnel and the civilian population expressed in terms of removal of civilians from barracks and non-fraternization with them. The study concludes that there was no sufficient reason to believe that the attitudinal change program in the Nigerian Army achieve the required consistency between message and soldiers aspirations and therefore may not likely be adequate in its implementation [and possibly conception] to deliver a professionally combat ready army that honors the traditional code of military conduct.


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