Nigerians have always created a distinct, humorous relationship with each passing president. Who can forget the subtle play on former president Olusegun Obasanjo‘s looks, or the critique of Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience Jonathan‘s speech – and now, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the play on his almost absent-esque tactic in leading Nigerians.
For many Nigerians, president Buhari went from an energetic political campaigner to a very silent and weak appearing president; slow to respond to issues that are pressing and of national concern.
There have been a number of cases that took the president days (some, weeks) to respond, the #EndSARS protest is the most recent one. And as it appears, even when the president finally decides to speak, his statements are always met with heavy backlash and disagreement, which is arguably expected.
On Twitter, when the president tweets about things that are of national concern and very important, his tweets, where you expect good engagement, is usually met with replies that are totally unrelated to what the president has said. One abbreviation that sits solidly in the president’s reply section is ‘IFB’ which simply means: I follow back.
What is IFB
IFB is a Twitter call to action denoting that whoever that has typed IFB would follow anyone who follows him. The IFB line has become so abundant in the president’s tweets that even where you expect criticism to roll in the replies, you are only entertained with several IFBs.
Why does it matter?
Commenting IFB on important issues clearly points out two things: Mistrust or lack of interest. Perhaps Nigerians are tired and not interested in the slow-to-action Buhari and have decided to find humour from his ‘reaction to issues’ or perhaps, Nigerians are saying that they do not even trust him enough to do whatever it is he has said.
In a Twitter post where the president talked about something as important as the National Youth Investment Funds (NYIF) as part of the administration’s commitment in empowering the youths, the post was also met with several ‘IFBs’ as opposed to intelligent questions from Nigerians on Twitter.
For many, Nigeria, as a country, and the president has become a joke. And while the Buhari-led administration has continued to ‘attempt’ at making the country work, the youths are yet to see any impact. IFBs under Buhari’s tweets only shows disinterest and distrust of the administration. Except, of course, this is how Nigerians want to create their own humorous-esque relationship with president Buhari.
Michael is a dynamic writer who is still exploring the nuances of life and being human. When I’m not writing, I’m out with friends or spending nice time alone watching movies or TV Shows.
Michael is available on Twitter and Instagram @TheMichaelFaya