The world in reality has no borders. New Media brings that reality to the fore. For journalists, for business men, for activists – where they exist – and indeed everyone, we have a relatively new world of opportunities.
The essence and relevance of New Media in its various forms as avenues for change cannot be over emphasized. While in itself it cannot achieve much, used in strategic connection with the old forms of media and the conventional community organizing process, Nigerians may just finally get it right. There is an obsession about 2015 amongst Nigerians that shows many things. One of such is the fact that many have since given up on this government. It also shows that Nigerians believe elections are the silver-bullets for change in any society. There is more to a society than elections.
No society can develop as long as the mentality and the scope of majority of its citizens remain hedged in the old order of expectations. For Nigeria, the old order is the order of mediocrity and corruption. The difference between the politician who steals and the loud voice, called activist condemning him is only that the thief who has been able to break into the vault and the other is just bidding his time. They are both thieves save for the fact that one got access to the loot and the other waits his turn. What is the difference between President Jonathan not sacking a minister that has betrayed public trust and an organisation that is shouting at the president for not doing so, yet depend on one of their members who has been proven to also betray public trust to continue to push their “good will.” If you cannot sack your small thief, why should Jonathan sack his big thief?*
The paradox of Nigeria is wrapped in an enigma lost in a conundrum that’d even have the most sane philosopher get lost in a stream of discombobulating thoughts. People who are doing exactly the same wrongs in their little systems want to correct leaders who are doing the same on a bigger platform. It’s a domino of nonsense and rubbish replicated across the microcosms that make the macrocosm called Nigeria.
These are the order here and as long as the turn-by-turn mentality stays in our politics and way of life, we are doomed. A man used to seeing politicians steal all the money will praise the one that steals most of the money that uses the rest to fix a few problems. We see things based on the way they have been anchored on our minds. Compared with leaders all over the world, the likes of Fashola and Rochas Okorocha may look dim but compared with the general glut of dimness around leadership in our country, they stand out.
New Media is the tool that presents us with a new anchor of reality. We will no longer judge our office holders by comparing them with their failing peers – who are in the majority – because New Media makes us see that there are leaders doing great things even in Africa, whose works are at our finger tips. A click on one link takes you to a whole new world of leadership and possibilities. I don’t have to be in Germany to know what Germans expect of their leaders.
I just need to search #Germany on twitter and I get to see all the issues around politics and development in Germany. The world in reality has no borders. New Media brings that reality to the fore. For journalists, for business men, for activists – where they exist – and indeed everyone, we have a relatively new world of opportunities that can only be as useful to us as we want them to be. Google hang out, Google+, Twitter, Facebook and all these forms of media are not just innovative technological tools, they are conference rooms full of millions of people. What you can sell to people where you see them physically can be sold to them where you meet them virtually.
The world has changed and the earlier we all realise that the better. With a BlackBerry phone connected to twitter, a friend of mine makes as much as N60,000/month just tweeting about products. She has a day job. N60,000 is a fortune to at least 112 million poor Nigerians. These are new realities and it is never too late to cash in. All of us with dreams and visions, these are the tools to succeed really big and like life itself, this is the place to also fail big time. It is never about the tool, it is how you use it.
Editor’s note: Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.
* No minister in the cabinet of President Jonathan’s administration has been convicted of stealing.