#ThinkOutLoud: iFarming, Ekaette, Mustapha, Sir Twitter and Fixing Nigeria – by @gbengaosowe
Published:3 Jan, 2013
Happy New Year folks! Thanks for being faithful supporters of this column and the blog this past year. You’re most highly appreciated. Last year witnessed a lot of distractions from the government who showed by their many actions and inactions that all their promises of a “fresh air and transformation” were mere lip talk and not to be taken seriously by any progressive minded Nigerian.
Now that we are in 2013, two year before the 2015 elections, two years before Nigeria disintegrates as predicted by the USA what steps are we planning to take to ensure that 2013 doesn’t end the same way as 2012 for our nation. The Federal government has begun the year in its predictably brainless manner with its purported introduction of what I call iFarming or what do you call a situation where mobile phones are seen as being more important to farmers than fertilizers.
iFarming is that new model of farming where farmers don’t need to worry about the bad roads leading to their farm, they can always send their produce by Bluetooth to the market. Even when there is no electricity to adequately power their farms, no loan facilities nor machineries, all they need according to this government is a wonder-phone and all their problems are solved and while all of this goes on what are we doing with social media.
Social media has undoubtedly brought about many changes in the dissemination of information and I must say that this has been put to good use but I know that for every social media enlightened youth, there are ten others who know nothing about Twitter and Facebook but would vote in the 2015 elections.
While many of us have become besotted by our presence and importance on social media to the point where our number of twitter followers has confirmed Twitter Overlordship on us, there are many of our contemporaries who do not have access to social media but thanks to President Goodluck’s iFarming initiative they will soon have phones and I won’t be surprised if they vote for him in the next elections while we spend time here on twitter tweet fighting and engaged in a non-rewarding contest of who can insult the government more. Mtscheww!
With the number of laudable efforts that “ordinary Nigerians” have achieved, spurred on by social media, I wonder why there are no solid efforts to transmit this knowledge to the young man on the street that has no access to the amount of information that many of us here have and that is why I know that the change we desire in Nigeria would not come as long as we remain faithful to our new found love of tweeting and talking without any action to back up our talk.
I dare say that Nigeria 2015 wouldn’t be any different from what has been in times past if Ekaette, the housekeeper, Mustapha the butcher and Ajoke the hairdresser’s apprentice understand that a phone worth ?6000 is not enough reason for them to pless their hands on the umblerra”, broom or any other logo without asking questions from these political candidates.
So Sir Twitter -my name for those of you who believe that your tweeting would change Nigeria, here is what I propose that you do to support your talk if we are to fix Nigeria and see the Nigeria that we so desire.
- JOIN A YOUTH ADVOCACY GROUP: It is proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the present crop of Nigeria’s rulers want to the leaders of today, tomorrow and even beyond or what do you call a situation where a 79 years old “young man”, known for his corrupt antecedents has been given the task of fixing Nigeria’s ports.
Join one youth advocacy group and lend your voice, wit and intellect to see that we push out these evil men from the seats of power. If no group meets your ideals, then look for people with same ideals and put wonderful suggestions of yours to work.
2. DO SOMETHING IN YOUR COMMUNITY:
No matter the big changes we seek and yearn for, if we do not start from our different communities then I can say that WE ALL ARE JOKERS. There are more eligible Nigerian voters outside of social media circles than we have on social media so why don’t you reach out to them and educate them rather than all the talk we do here on twitter.
3. ASK QUESTIONS FROM YOUR LOCAL ADMINISTRATORS:
The administration at this level is the closest to the people and if we can get them to be responsible then we are on our way to the Promised Land. The amount of sleaze and siphoning of funds that goes on unchecked at this level of governance is so astonishing. So many invisible projects are carried out while we go on writing wonderful, thought provoking, action-inciting articles without walking the talk.
4. CATCH THEM YOUNG:
2015 is two years away and eligibility to vote in Nigeria is 18 years which means that the 16 years old boy/girl in secondary school now will be eligible to vote in 2015 so I ask, “What are your plans, Sir Twitter to see that these “children” understand a recharge cards, bags cups of rice and a telephone is not worth mortgaging their future for?” What plans do you have to ensure that our teenagers imbibe the patriotism that you exhibit with some much passion here on twitter? Ask yourself these questions and until you can find answers to them I tell you that dreams of a change might just be that- dreams.
Get on the streets, educate the people because when all has been said and done you will see that Fixing Nigeria is not a Twitter Affair.