Nigerian Youth becomes Facebook hero
A less than two sentences post on popular social networking website by a Nigerian youth has generated lots of interest. Aliyu Tilde wrote on the ‘wall’ of the official Facebook page of Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan: “There are only two types of people in Nigeria-good and bad-and not-Northerners and Southerners-we are all one in the final analysis”.
“I like what a youth, Aliyu Tilde, said on my wall and with his permission I have reproduced his words. Said he “There are only two types of people in Nigeria-good and bad-and not-Northerners and Southerners-we are all one in the final analysis. GEJ” Goodluck Ebele Jonathan wrote on his ‘wall’ in response to Tilde.
Nine hours after his response, the topic became one of the most discussed subject on the website. It generated 2,517(Two thousand five hundred and seventeen) comments and 3,076 ‘Likes’ as of Friday 5th November at 12:30 am. David Ekweoba believe to be a Nigerian even goes further in his post by suggesting that “I recommend Aliyu Tilde to be made EFCC chairman.”
In an exclusive chat with this press on Facebook, Tilde revealed that he actually stole the quotation from an article which where written by Reno Omokri entitled: Breaking The Generational Curse. “I had expected Mr. President or his handlers to contact me and I would have been honest about it. It was also used on a prominent Nigerians page.” Tilde said.
He went on: I would have felt better if the credit was given to the true hero, the author who wrote those words. By nature I don’t like claiming credit for the work of others.” he said.
Tilde later confirmed before the end of the interview that the President Jonathan later acknowledge the original author of the piece.
In recent times, many politicians have embraced social media to effectively communicate their messages. US President Barack Obama used Facebook before and during his presidency.President Jonathan is the latest African Head of State who has taken advantage of Facebook and used the tool at his advantage.
Jonathan set up his Facebook page on June 28th, 2010 and his first posting reads: “Today, in fulfillment of the promise I made at the 26th convocation of the University of Port Harcourt on Saturday, 15 May 2010, I have created a Facebook fan page to interact with Nigerians. As I said on that day, there is an unchallengeable power of good in the Nigerian nation and her youth and through this medium I want Nigerians to give me the privilege of relating with them without the trappings of office. GEJ”
Despite his tight schedule, the President according to report finds the time to at least post a message once a day. Such posting has in the past generated responses from at least 1,000 to 3, 000 a piece. In fact, the President said he had to reverse a major decision he took on his country football body due to responses from his people on Facebook.
Futhermore, Goodluck Jonathan in fact replies directly to some of the comment addressed to him on Facebook and even bring some of the comments to government meetings and events. One of such is comments is on July 4th 2010 when he posted for citizens to suggest better ways on how electricity power supply can be improve. On July 5th 2010, President Jonathan updated his page with this comment: “Again I spent time reading your comments and yesterday a youth named Toyin Dawodu indicated that he had an idea for a project that could deliver 4,000 MWs of electricity. I believe in the creativity and the spirit of innovation resident in our youth and I want to give Toyin Dawodu a chance to be heard. Toyin, someone from my office will make contact with you regarding your idea. I know I cannot attend to every comment or suggestion due to time constraints, but please do know that I read them and they influence my actions. GEJ.” he said.
The Nigerian President continues to demonstrate that he understands social media. He is using the internet to listen and also engage his people and thereby increasing transparency.
By: Murtala Mohamed Kamara
About the author:
Murtala Mohamed Kamara is the Founder and Chief Executive of Sierra Leone’s foremost entertainment website www.salonejamboree.com. He is a specialist on West Africa and has written over 1,000 major news articles on West Africa for Holland based www.africanews.com For more information on my work, google: Murtala Mohamed Kamara
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