A Tribute to Nigeria’s Social Media Army of Change – Abdulrahman Bala Abba @abbanani66
I want to begin with a quote from H.R.H Queen Rania of Jordan “Social media are a catalyst for the advancement of everyone’s rights. It’s where we’re reminded that we’re all human and all equal. It’s where people can find and fight for a cause, global or local, popular or specialized, even when there are hundreds of miles between them.”
Before March 28, 2015 Nigerians were millions of miles apart from our so called politicians and representatives. On that faithful day, Nigerians reminded our political elite that we are all equal, that even though we allow them misbehave, when pushed to the wall our venom shall be felt through peaceful means like the ballot box. A huge part of the change we expect to start seeing from May 29, 2015 was initiated and driven by an ever growing Army of conscious and enthusiastic young Nigerians on social media, a group whose hunger and quest for a better Nigeria sometimes frightens me.
We achieved a revolution once predicted by the late Premier and King of South Western Nigerian politics, Chief Obafemi Jeremiah Oyeniyi Awolowo. We defied all odds and rejected a system characterized by impunity and animosity. Even though the votes and voices of our south eastern and south southern brothers and sisters were suppressed, we began the process of bringing down the ‘Berlin wall of religious and ethnic sentiments’ a few of our evil leaders had successfully built over the past few years.
While I wouldn’t downplay the huge effort of other well-meaning Nigerians towards that struggle for #Change, I will definitely like to recognize the significant role played by my brothers and sisters on social media, most especially #Twitter.
They were castigated, maligned, trolled, harassed both online and offline by paid agents of the clueless cabal, some were bugged and trailed. Some were told they only had influence on Twitter and that in the real world, boots on the ground was always going to prevail. What they forgot was that each and every one of the Army of #Change had brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, friends, spouses and acquaintances which make up a huge percentage of the Nigerian population and that also what was being exhibited online was just a fraction of the growing frustration of Nigerians and our desire for something new, positive and sustainable.
My advice to President – Elect Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and his incoming administration is that while these young men and women on social media were a huge part of your victory, they shall also not shy away from criticizing the slightest mistake you and your administration shall make. Should you fail on your promise of change and effective governance, they shall be amongst the first group to come for your head. Amongst them, some shall be a part of your administration while some shall prefer to watch from outside, one thing is for sure that they all nurse desires and intentions to one day be decision makers and leaders of Nigeria, that desire shall spur them to be vigilant and impartial towards your administration. Finally for your own sake Mr. President – Elect, do appoint an intelligent, calm and decent young team to manage your voice and image on social media with the aim of engaging people responsibly and not egocentric Wendell Simlin Omokri types.
To our legion of #Change agents, I and Nigerians all over are grateful to you. You all sacrificed a lot, time, resources, emotions, relationships and numerous others to help in achieving a stronger Nigeria. We might not be able to repay you all but we are forever thankful and proud of what you helped achieve. A few of them I have the pleasure and honour of knowing personally and calling my brothers, sisters, friends and mentors and the others I look forward to meeting in the near future God willing. While I’d definitely love to mention you all, my memory might not be that good at remembering each and every one of you, for those that I omit please do forgive me
@elrufai – Gov. Nasir El-Rufai
@Obyezeks – Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili
@bashiryusuf – Alhaji Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim
@Omojuwa – Japheth Omojuwa
@dawisu – Salihu Tanko Yakasai
@seunfakze – Seun Fakuade
@eggheader – Egghead Odewale
@Ogundamisi – Kayode Ogundamisi
@gbengasesan – Gbenga Sesan
@toluogunlesi – Tolu Ogunlesi
@MrAbuSidiq – Abubakar Sidiq Usman
@HafizBayero – Hafiz Bayero
@B_Elrufai – Bello El-Rufai
@DebolaLagos – Adebola Williams
@GbengaGOLD – Gbenga Olorunpomi
@gimbakakanda – Gimba Kakanda
@Yadomah – Yadoma Bukar Mandara
@mareeyama – Maryam Abubakar
@Lady_Deelicious – Daibah Garba
@MrSleevesUp – Kola Oyeneyin
@SLIMPROFILE – Ismael Ahmed
@alkayy – Alkassim Abdulkadir
@nedunaija – Chinedu Ekekee
@DOlusegun – Olusegun Dada
@d_muzza – Muzzamil Dikko
@faruksm – Faruk
@smahmoud – Sadiq Mahmoud
@mustyblax – Mustapa Atiku
@sarkinfcbk – Ahmed Sarkin Facebook
@simiskeez – Simi Faj
@Fatiskira – Fatima Askira
@Perseverance – Musa Usman
@MoBrimah – Mohammed Brimah
@IfeAdebayo – Ife Adebayo
And all other Nigerians, A BIGGGG Thank You!!!