If you were in Nigeria from January to April of this year 2015, then you will surely remember the words ‘Changi’, ‘Sai Baba’, ‘Sai Buhari’, ‘Sai Mai Gaskiya’. Those were the words that herald the campaign that brought in Buhari popularly called GMB as President of Nigeria.
Some experts are of the view that the Buhari campaign organization implored social media marketing strategies that tapped into the emotions of ordinary Nigerians on the streets who readily jumped on the moving train of the change mantra.
A question that comes to mind as Mohammed Buhari is been sworn in as the President of Nigeria is what becomes of the loyal community of people who followed him across social media, campaigned for him, voted for him and even help protect the integrity of the election results via social media?
In government, will GMB abandon them or will he use social media as a platform to listen to their pains?
Let’s take a moment and reflect on the implication of social media for both the Nigerian People and those in positions of governance.
Governance and Social Media
There is no hiding anymore. The buzz and awareness created by the campaigns which brought President Buhari to power isn’t going away anytime soon.
One campaign tagline of the All Progressive Congress (APC) during the elections was if elected either you work or you are voted out. This was recently echoed by the Governor of Kaduna state Nasir El-Rufai; we must work for the people or be voted out in 2019
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Now that social media has been used to drive the message of change, the Buhari government can’t afford not to bring change to Nigerians. Now that more and more people are connecting to the internet in Nigeria and whistle blowing is gradually becoming a norm, the days of government cover-ups may be long gone.
If the government is not living up to expectation, Nigerians will know through social media. People are going to know if a contract was inflated or if it was executed or if someone in position of governance is living an overtly extravagant lifestyle.
Nigerians we complain on social media and that complain will be loud.
For Buhari and his government, social media should mean holding themselves up right because if they mess up, everyone is going to know how they went wrong. There is no hiding place for those in position of governance anymore.
Nigerians and Social Media
Nigerians used social media to drive the message of change across the country and vote in their President. Some have even given the whole process a trending hash tag #Godwin.
Now that the Peoples General has been elected and sworn in as the President, Nigerians are yearning for the change that was promised them. But for change to actually come, we must realize two things;
Ignoring Social Media is a Non Option: if you are not already using social media, then you are likely to miss out on the opportunity to have your voice heard. If the president could use social media to win an election against an incumbent then what are you waiting for? Get on board so you can be heard.
Use the Power of Social Media to hold the Government Accountable: what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.
Through social media the President’s message of change was preached, therefore, through social media you should monitor the activities of government and report inappropriate actions of any government official.
The power of social media in holding our authorities accountable cannot be underestimated as it has been recently used to check and discipline Police Officers who collect bribes or even to address the depth of human capital deficiency of people in privileged positions of authority like the famous case of ‘Oga at the top‘.
For government, social media should be used as a tool to run an inclusive administration where all Nigerians have a voice. While the Buhari government can choose to ignore social media as a key governance tool they should know the consequences of doing so.
Put simply, the government may lose the people.
Whereas, for Nigerians ignoring social media is not an option, it is the sure way of having a voice in how the country is administered.
I would love to know your thoughts.
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