Nigeria is a single unified entity and we have co-existed as such for years. Thus, every true Nigerian is supposed to invest his resources in maintaining and protecting this Unity. The 21st century has brought about so much positive developments and amongst which is the Social Networks. These Social Networks mainly the Facebook,The Twitter,Yahoo and so many others have proven to be great tools which were instrumental to the great Arab Spring that has swept through the Middle East and some parts of Africa, and the Current Occupy movement sweeping across the United states and some parts of Europe. The majority of the youth in the world use these social sites and Nigeria is no exception. This global phenomenon orchestrated the appointment of the SSA on new Media by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in the person of Mr. Reno Omokri who also purportedly handle’s the President’s Facebook page. He is supposed to be a representative of the President with the responsibility to sensitize the youths on the activities of the government on these social networks.
However, we as Nigerians are very prone to stereotyping something which the SSA to the President on new media has shown he is not immune to. On the 20th of October 2011 Mr. Reno Omokri tweeted this to two of his followers» “IF THEY NEED EMERGENCY ACTION THEN LET THEM PRODUCE WEALTH. THE NORTH PARTICULARLY THE CORE NORTH ARE PARASITES”” «A statement as such is reckless and tantamount to create further tensions and animosity amongst the Nigerian people. Nigeria is at a very critical stage where regional tensions are rife. We need to all put our hands on deck to see that Nigeria continues to survive as a unified State. However when an appointed aide to the President makes such a statement, then we clearly have a very long way to go and some won’t be shocked to hear he speaks the mind and posturing of his boss.
After people on twitter saw this statement, they called on Mr. Omokri to publicly apologize to Nigerians. The tweet was subsequently deleted afterwhich he vehemently denied ever making it. He claims his twitter account/handle was hacked. Its strange why anyone will hack Mr Reno’s account to tweet that particular tweet, it laughable and consistent with the denials Nigerians have come to get used to from public officers. There have been believable insinuations that Mr. Reno Omokri intentionally set up fake twitter accounts where he attacks, abuses and casts aspersions on any one who dares to state the true position of things whenever he as a voice of the regime comes up with fictitious successes of the government. Mr. Reno Omokri probably thought he was tweeting with one of his fake accounts when he sent this particular tweet. He promised to investigate the issue but his tales about his account being hacked is puerile, shameful and cowardly. However, before he concludes his investigation we demand Mr Reno make a formal public apology because for all intent and purposes his name is what we saw on that tweet and until proven otherwise, he is the one we will hold responsible for that reckless statement! Honourable men defend their honour when they stand by their word and apologise when they are wrong.
Daibah Garba lives in Abuja, Nigeria
Follow her on twitter @Lady_Deelicious