It’s true, Lucky Jo has joined Facebook. It came from a post by Pat Utomi on his wall that read thus, “only a few minutes ago I was informed by the President that he has fulfilled the promise he made on May 15th, 2010 at the University of Port Harcourt’s convocation ceremony to create a Facebook page to relate one on one with Nigerians. Please join me and others on the president’s Facebook page which he has assured me he will manage personally. PU” I clicked, it was true and I immediately became a fan. In less than 12 hours after Utomi’s announcement, Jonathan already has 36,910 fans.
I am elated that Lucky Jo is reading the signs of the times, my generation have a wider access to information and they are making use of it. The accessibility of social network sites, blogs and online media is a boom and has given a voice to the once voiceless majority. The traditional media with its gate keeping is making an effort to keep up or loss out forever. And to think that a Nigerian politician, the president, is finally making use of this ton of information and reality is enthralling.
The surge in social networking prompted the Economist to declare that Facebook is now the second most popular site on the internet after Google. Facebook after just four years of existence has 350 million users with 55 million updates per day and shares more than 3.5 billion pieces of content with other members of the site every week. Facebook certainly has a wider outreach than any old (mass) media can ever dream of.
At the same time most educated Nigerians especially the young ones are becoming more passionate about the internet. Thus, the propensity to hook up to new technologies as source of information is gradually on the increase. Many young Nigerians are signed up to Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites.
Welcome to reality, quite different from the antiseptic environment in Abuja or from the unrealistic world of your colleagues in the National Assembly or in most states across the federation. Lucky Jo, if you keep your promise of personally reading through the post on your wall, then there is hope. At least, the ability of Nigerians to get across to you will no longer be inhibited by tribe of your media assistants. Nonetheless, I must warn you that this dip into cyber news may leave some scares.
Mr President, Nigerians have a loud mouth and they know how to use it. Don’t think that they will spare you when you deviate. On the contrary, your daily pronouncement, actions (and inactions), your perceived body language will not be lost on the intelligent and quite vocal internet warriors. You will also receive a lot of advice, from the most practical to the absurd. You will soon discover that Nigerians hardly sleep and no matter the time of the day, you will discover that there are many who are awake, clicking away.
Obviously you will have many who will use this opportunity to yab you. They will see no good in your luck and will tell you so. Also trust Naija, some are already fine-tuning their plan to get at least within the periphery of the proverbial ‘corridors of power’. In the same mix, you will get an amazing intellectual assessment of the Nigerian question by the finest this country has. Whatever the case, please don’t forget your mission, which is to speak to Nigerians. We want to have a personal one-on-one gist with our president. Abeg no fall our hand!
Welcome to Fb, the Supreme Council of Internet Warriors trumpets your arrival, hope you will find it interesting.