Point Of Order With Nonso Ezeani: The Social Media, A Networking Or An Abusive Tool?

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The social media has emerged as a powerful tool of communication and exchange of information lately. Media such as facebook, twitter, Google Plus, skype, instagram et al are fascinating tools that have immense potentials as means of communication between parties very far apart. Nigeria, like several emerging countries in the third world has done well not to be left behind. In fact, in our own case, the social media have been seen to play roles more important that the ordinary business such tools were developed to play. If nothing, the popular “God and Die” saga which involved sitting Comrade Governor Adams Aliu Oshiomhole of Edo State and a citizen of that state that was caught violating the laws of the state prohibiting street trading was settled on a mutually beneficial circumstance. The Governor never imagined how many eyes will behold that petty act of official bullying. No doubt, if not for the role social media tools played in that “blockbuster,” that matter will have almost died the minute the governor under reference left the scene of the incidence as I can cite several incidences where such cases of abuse of executive privileges went unchallenged.

These days, Nigerians have been able to communicate and relate with one another via these tools that are fast taking the place of conventional means of communication. That the telephone (GSM) is still maintaining the lead as the fastest means of reaching ones associates is not sufficient reasons to wave off the power of facebook and twitter for example. The BlackBerry Messenger Application is unique in its own way.  However, cases of outright abuse of these privileges abound. An incidence that struck me was a failed attempt to blackmail a fellow citizen that occurred in the course of this week. A sexually explicit material belonging to a staff of a leading telecommunications company in Nigeria went viral on social media. Before one could mention “go” nearly every one that had eyes in the said company have had a full glimpse of the said materials. The said staff would later resign. 

Beyond the level of blackmail, another form of abuse of social media tools I have noticed in Nigeria is directly related to the level of political awareness that exist in our country. Thanks to some new order of ‘political and human right activists’ who have found social media tools a perfect instruments with which misleading information can be peddled and disseminated from the comfort of one’s toilet seat. In this category of social media tools, twitter is most flexible. All one needs do is own a twitter account bearing very little information about the handler. With that in place what is left is commence uploading and disseminating information to a few members of the public who already have disdain for governments, its officials and institutions.

The situation is so bad that the truthfulness of such information is mostly not verified before they are re-tweeted (as a show of endorsements). Granted, some users of this applications, yours faithfully inclusive have managed to stick to only facts that can be verified but the situation one is faced with is such that those correct information when disseminated are never taken as serious. In most cases, they are perceived as lies which paid henchmen of the government are under obligation to circulate. Too bad!

Any which ways, it is only important that I stressed the importance of these tools and how well they can be used to portray our country in good light. I am not suggesting that only information that favors government be peddled on social median, I am rather of the opinion that Nigerians while demanding that government lives up to expectation in areas where they feel the government is doing badly, achievements and other milestone feats of the government should be acknowledged. No where on earth have there been governments that can be referred to as out rightly bad, that record should not start with our county. 

I totally condemn actions of my fellow Nigerians who never see anything good in the government of the day. True, several cases of lapses can be pointed out here and there but situations where such incidences are exaggerated beyond imagination are only to the detriment on us as Nigerians. If nothing, we will keep been regarded as a people that does all the talk and matches it up with no action. We will be seen as a people that are hungry for change but fail to appreciate the truth that we are the bearer of such desired changes. That’s surely not in our best interest.

TWO MORE THINGS 

The $20Billion CBN Governor:

In my reaction to the suspension of CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, I failed to mention that in the business of finance and accounting, views held by a technocrat should not be promoted in a manner that will cause the objectivity of such a technocrat to be questioned.  Where objectivity is called to question, that individual will have failed a very crucial test of independence which is another major trait that is essential in the course of his or her job function. This is one area the suspended CBN Governor failed without remedy. Maybe if he had been a good student of auditing, the incidence wherein he had oral exchanges with Finance Minister and coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala over how much oil revenue was yet to be accounted for will not have arisen.

And the fight gets more complicated:

Following revelations by Nigeria’s Information Minister, Labaran Maku which suggests that members of the Boko Haram terrorist organization now maintain operational bases on boarder lines between Nigeria and Cameroun, I dare suggest that the onslaught against them by the defense headquarters be taken to these already identified locations. Violating the sovereignty of Cameroun under this circumstance can be justified before any court. Since the government of Dr. Paul Biya lacks political will to openly identify with Nigeria’s government on this matter of mutual interest, the Cameroonians should be compelled to take sides with us. 

Follow me on twitter @NonsoEzeani1.

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