By Tolu Ogunlesi / July 19, 2010
Imagine Facebook existed during the reign of Sani Abacha. Instead of inviting traditional rulers to the screening of the ‘Diya Coup’ videos he’d simply have tagged them on Facebook; if, that is, he refrained – against the advice of persons like Al-Mustapha – from totally banning the social networking site in Nigeria.
Sadly we will never know. Abacha did not wait to see the Internet boom. Obasanjo and Yar’Adua who on the other hand saw it did not care much for it; they were our own George W. Bush.
Goodluck Jonathan is therefore a breath of fresh air. Not only is he the first Nigerian president from a minority ethnic group, he will also go down in history as the first Nigerian leader to embrace social networking as a tool of governance. If Obasanjo was our Television President (recall the Presidential media chats, and the nationwide broadcast announcing that the Senate President and Education Minister were thieves), Jonathan is our Facebook President.
As I write this he is the most popular Nigerian on Facebook. Only two weeks after joining he has amassed more than 120,000 followers. Apart from a glitch early on, that saw the defacement by some e-miscreants of the president’s photo pages (images of an unknown nude man suddenly appeared in the hallowed presidential arena); Mr. Jonathan has been having a blast.
Thursday morning he had about 116,000 “likers”. Twenty-four hours later the number had risen to more than 121,000. A cartoon by our own Zapiro, the inimitable Asukwo E.B., has Mr. Jonathan in bed, eyes glued to his laptop…
Read the full article in my column, (ON)GOING CONCERNS, in NEXT, here