Social Media is not responsible for Nigeria failures; It exposes them

By Njoku SaintJerry A

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“Social Media will only help to amplify your excesses, strength and weakness, whether quality leadership, astute managerial acumen, profligacy, foolishness, whether you are ‘Yes Sir’ man, a tout or just another Idiot mismanaging political powers.

If you are dumb, you are dumb. If you are morally deficient in ethics and acceptable social behaviors, that’s what you have chosen to become and if you are a thief, that’s your choice.
If anyone has made that observation about you and after series of checks decided to draw a conclusion on your image or your position to life and you decided to go after the fellow with all your arsenals of money and power. It won’t make any difference, it won’t stop you from being dumb, naïve, morally bankrupt and a thief because this is what you have portrayed in your character at all occasion therefore anybody talking about your chosen deficiencies by default is only proving the point of his or her judgement about you.

The problem is; struggling to suppress such expression. Such attempt only justifies your fears of natural judgement, or you call it ‘Karma’ but you can never succeed at doing that unless you chose to change 360 degree and adopt morally acceptable behaviors.

In Nigeria, image laundry is huge business, it began to gain entry into Nigeria media business during the Hey Days of the late General Sanni Abacha and was popularized at the advent of the democratic system from 1999. The business is operated as it sounds – Image laundry, a Paid advertorials in prints and audio-visuals telling the world what you are or what you are not. In most cases, washing you so clean to tell the world a fine crafted lie about you.

Sometimes ago, during the Obasanjo administration, Nigeria even dared to take the business of image laundry to London and engaged CNN. Unfortunately, CNN call their bluff, took their money and went ahead to beam a different scenario – the true Nigeria as they see it and not the paid advertorials. The Minster of Information to the government of Nigeria at that time, one Mr. Frank Nweke complained bitterly that “CNN had depicted Nigeria and her people in a denigrating manner,” and demanded for an apology. It created a furore but the damage, already done and Nigeria walked away in shame.

During the Goodluck Jonathan administration, now the advent of social media with bloggers mushrooming at all corners, the issue of image laundry came up again but this time, the government decided to put up a fight against those saying different things in the public domain other than what they were expected to say.

The special adviser to the President on Special Duties and Social Development maters at that time, one Mrs. Sarah Akuben Pane complained that the negative use of social media by Nigerian youths is impacting negatively on the country’s image. She added that denigrating Nigerian leaders through this medium has become a pastime of youths to the extent that the Nigeria President has become the most insulted in the world.” Unfortunately, the Goodluck Jonathan was magnanimous enough to accept criticism despite its informal request that it should be toned down with a language of civility and decorum.
Then comes in the General Mohammad Buhari administration, the President that has become all too popular for all the wrong reasons. He decided to join Nigerians on social media either by himself or through his aides until he suddenly misfired and he got instant judgement by owners of the platform who decided to delete him outright. In response, He unilaterally shut down the social media platform (Twitter) because he felt insulted by owners of the platform whom decided to take down his comment which they consider ‘against the rules.’ Following up, he and his aides decided to go after all other media platforms who dared to speak, write or televise anything different from what they are expected to say or show to the outside world.

I am not surprised if Nigerian politicians and their business elites still don’t get it.
Social Media is not a magical tool that alters your character when it feels like it, and neither is it like Print Media where you can pay millions of manipulative naira to get adverts touting your good work when you have not done virtually nothing worth it. As Okechukwu Ofili wrote; ‘Social Media cannot change Assholes.’
Rather social media is a truth application tool; one that works to amplify your true characters and traits – whether positive or negative, so if you are an asshole in real life, social media will simply make you a bigger asshole, it cannot and will never transform you into an angel. Alternatively if you have done something positive for your community, state or even your country, social media will share those positive things you have done with the world even at amplified rate; This is why social media has been successful in political revolutions of late because it simply focuses on the truth, it cannot be controlled, bought or silenced – you can only influence it by what you do in real life, it will not add and does not operate like a generator that can be switched off or on when you feel like it.
You cannot turn social media on when you want to get elected into political office and turn it off when you win. Assuming the elections are ever over in Nigeria.’

“the next time the Nigeria government or any person in government, reads several negative tweets about their administration or such an individual begins to trend negatively on social media for all the negative reasons, they should not struggle to muzzle the media or threaten anyone because that would be likened to exhibiting a mental illness or psychological disorder

Nigeria should no longer bother itself with the doctrine of democracy if its policies on the media must be according to government strict rules. North Korea example would be suitable if the government do not like criticisms and I am certain many of us will be comfortable with the business of Image laundry – It pays good money and sales a fine crafted lie to your admirers and enemies until your foolishness catches up with you, I think they call it ‘Karma.’

More so, if Nigeria and its handlers really considers democracy as a better form of government, they should learn to engage the media for all occasions both good and bad and not struggle to muzzle them. Social Media will only help to amplify your excesses, strength and weakness, whether quality leadership, astute managerial acumen, profligacy, foolishness, whether you are ‘Yes Sir’ man, a tout or just another Idiot mismanaging political powers.

Take for instance, the man Mr. Peter Obi, former Governor of Anambra state. Mr. Peter Obi, attended a reception service at a Catholic Church in Abuja. He sneaked into the auditorium unnoticed by many and sat with the worshipers. He refused the Church Warden’s entreaties to move to the front roll, saying that seats should not be reserved in the church as it is not a social or political gathering.

Mr. Obi sat with the worshipers who really did not understand what was going on until an announcement of his presence was made from the pulpit and the church roared, hailing him in his traditional title; “Okwute!” “Okwute!”

During the picture-taking session with the clergies and the celebrant, Obi was literally mobbed by the worshipers as they continue to roar his name ‘Okwute’ meaning “the Rock” a traditional title he gained when he was the governor of the state. As the service draws to a close, virtually everybody, priests and worshipers wanted to talk to Obi, all wishing him well and praying for him to lead Nigeria one day. Another woman after identifying Obi held him for over ten minutes, pouring out prayers for him to have the opportunity to rule Nigeria and turn it around for good.
These are ordinary people, ordinary Nigerians that will literally rain curses and even invoked the hellfire to fall upon the politician but they chose to act differently at the man Mr. Peter Obi because he represented a governance that brought in a structural change in his home in South East Nigeria, a  template which has been difficult for others after him to deviate from. He modeled Anambra to represent the industry and managerial acumen of a conscientious leadership. He did not try to manipulate the social media to tell the world what he is not, with every institution organizing Award parties in his honor and praising him to high heavens for inflicting pains and hardship on the ordinary people and making a few aides and accomplices extremely comfortable.
No! the people that gathered around Mr. Peter Obi to say prayers and take selfies with him were ordinary Nigerians whom were recipient of his wise policies when he was in government and still offering advice to those in government.

Therefore, the next time the Nigeria government or any person in government, reads several negative tweets about their administration or such an individual begins to trend negatively on social media for all the negative reasons, they should not struggle to muzzle the media or threaten anyone because that would be likened to exhibiting a mental illness or psychological disorder.

Social media is not responsible for the herdsmen destroying people’s farmlands with impunity and killing innocent human beings neither is social media responsible for the abusive behaviors of people in government and their fellow political elites and negligence of the security situations in Nigeria. The failures of a government managed in deceit whether state or federal cannot be controlled or remedied on social media. Let those in power elected to serve learn to behave responsibly otherwise Nigeria should resort to the North Korea example and be at peace with itself.

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