Y! TV: 29 AUGUST, 2010.
- ‘Fire Fire!’ – The incidence at Ultima Studios
- ‘When Lagos Stood Still’ – President Goodluck Jonathan’s official visit to the state
- ‘Power Holding’ – The nationwide PHCN strike
- CHETA NWANZE
- SCOTT IGBENE
SNOOKER CONSULTANT / AUTHOR
- LOLA SOWOOLU
- SEWEDO MPANUKO
Facebook, Twitter and Goodluck. Today we’re talking about President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) on the two most popular social media websites, where he seems to be one of the most popular Nigerian members.
Before we go on however, let’s talk about Governor Fashola’s Okada ban (or restriction, if you may) in Lagos. Do you think this will work?
Cheta: Not at all. A majority of Nigerians use the Okada a lot. How could the governor ban the it? Has he provided an alternative?
Why shouldn’t he? If we want a Mega City, Okadas shouldn’t be allowed.
Sewedo: Let’s get things straight. A ‘mega city’ is not necessarily a sophisticated one. It is one that has over a million people living in it. A well structured city that caters to its population – that’s a separate thing. There are many small cities where things work.
Scott: Okadas are unavoidable! In Lagos you would run late for everything without them.
Now let’s get to GEJ on Facebook! It looked like a very cool idea at first but right now; not so much. Your thoughts?
Lolade: Does he really tweet personally, or read those comments on Facebook? I don’t think so. I’m sure he has a consultant who handles it.
But isn’t Facebook supposed to be a platform for him to actually interact with people?
Cheta: I want to believe he does read the Facebook comments. When he removed the ban on the Super Eagles, the President said “I listened to your cries on Facebook”, so I’d assume that he goes on often.
Sewedo: I don’t believe in this idea of the president on Facebook. I’d like to ask – what’s driving him to do all this? Elections are around the corner. I think his is move is more of a political one. We also cannot compare GEJ on Facebook and Twitter to President Obama. America’s democracy has evolved over two hundred years to get to it’s current state. How old is Nigeria’s democracy? Let’s not forget this idea of ‘democracy’ did not originate from us. There are better ways to reach Nigerians. How many people in this country even have a Facebook account?
Are you saying there are other platforms for him to reach the people? Like Rubbing Minds for example.
Sewedo: Maybe. The media is one of the many platforms where he can reach the people. He can do a television programme once every month, where the people can call in and address him ‘directly.
Isn’t it an important prospect that the President is trying to reach his people?
Lolade: It is, if it’s done properly and if the right issues are addressed.
Let’s be practical. Can we really expect the president to personally address the public through Facebook and Twitter accounts? We’re talking about millions of messages here.
Cheta: We shouldn’t expect him to answer. Obama doesn’t even run his Facebook page – asking GEJ to run his is asking too much. What is right and proper is to have representatives who are in direct contact with the people. These ones then pass the people’s questions and suggestions to the president and governors.
Sewedo: To be fair to the president, I think his forum on Facebook and Twitter was created for him to be able to reach the youths. Many youths have easy access to the internet these days, and those who don’t have even go out of their way to get access.
Whatever happened to the websites of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Information which were set up a few years ago? These are the questions that we need to ask.
Cheta: The Ministry of Finance’s is not working at present. Nigeria.com was still not working as at Friday.
Phone call: Ralph from Owerri
The Goodluck Jonathan term is doing fine in the area of electricity. I was away in the United States for a few years, and since I returned, power has been much better. I think we should stop comparing our democracy to that of US and the ‘Obama style’ of democracy.
So are we saying GEJ on Facebook is a good thing? Is it practical? Will it be consistent?
Scott: If he can keep this up till April next year, then I’ll know he means business.
Sewedo: Yes. I hope GEJ on Facebook isn’t a fad!
Phone call: Dimeji from Abuja
The main point of the President on Facebook is to bring in the youths into his governance. He talks about things that are happening around us. As a matter of fact. The first thing I usually read in the morning is GEJ’s update on Facebook.
Is anyone here on his Facebook or Twitter account?
Scott and Cheta: I am.
Cheta: I was the first person to criticize the president on his Facebook page. Usually people just put up adoring messages.
Scott: On his Facebook page I’d like to see him address relevant issues like the World Cup scam, and the Abuja march by militants, etc.
Are you saying he is not addressing the country’s important issues on his page?
Sewedo: Yes. I also think the president’s page is not social in any way, it is more political.
Lolade: I would like to give kudos to the consultants who run the page. They do a good job.
How do we make the Facebook President say things that affect us? Is the idea of the president on Facebook nationalistic?
Sewedo: If the President continues to put out messages in the heat of election campaign rallies, then I will believe in his Facebook and Twitter career.
Cheta: Yes! That’s the way we’ll know that the president means business.
From what everybody is saying right now, I think President GEJ is advised to adopt Governor Fashola’s style. The Lagos State Government’ has created a website that makes life easier for the Lagosian. People have access to information, and they can also make complaints and suggestions. It seems to have worked much better than the President’s Facebook page.
The show is about to end, I would like you guys to make your last suggestions before we leave.
Lolade: Let the consultants handling the Facebook page and Twitter accounts tackle more practical topics.
Sewedo: Elections are coming. Let us not be fooled.
Scott: If they feel the need to be on Facebook and Twitter, then GEJ and his crew should create a page that is more interactive and practical.
Don’t forget to join us next week.
Y! TV 3pm. Channels Television.
You’ve never seen young people talk like this![nggallery id=7]