About Aisha Buhari and her Social Media Change Agents

Nigerian-FlagWhen it comes to socializing online, I try as much as possible to stay clear of political and religious discuss. I feel people can be extreme in their views and the way certain things come across typed may be different from how they come across voiced. I do sometimes make an exception when a topic rubs me some type of way and I can’t hold it in. Today on twitter a certain topic caught my attention. Apparently, the first lady of Nigeria Aisha Buhari had hosted a dinner for “Social Media Change Agents.” Nigerian Twitter was for the most part not happy. Some felt with the country in financial crisis, hosting an elaborate party was the wrong thing to do. Some brought up the fact that a lot of Nigerian citizens were currently displaced due to terrorist attacks, and some argued that while people were queuing for fuel, the first lady was busy hosting a social media change agents party.

First off, let me ask, what exactly is a social media change agent? Who in the world comes up with these titles?  lol –  It’s like they just jumble words together and come up with a name befitting of what they think they see, not taking into consideration how it will sound . Are social media change agents a part of the government? Is it an actual job? What exactly are their duties and what are they changing? I’m trying to picture their CV now –
Skills:
Proficient in Snap Chat
Ability to get more than 50 Retweets
Can handle more than two Facebook page profiles
A good understanding of posting eye catching Instagram Pictures

What is all this naa? How can you take a govt seriously when they come up with such not so serious things. If her advisers knew one thing about social media, they would have advised her to stay clear of this. Naija politics online is so PDP -APC based I sometimes wonder if there will ever be unity in Nigeria. If it is not Tribal discuss, it is APC -PDP discuss. Frankly it is tiring and I do not see it helping at all. All they do is come online to state why the other party is bad. How does this help anyone?

I think she would have done a better job bringing the youth of both parties together to air their grievances. Give them time away from laying blame and help them see themselves as one Nigeria. She would have done better trying to unite the youth, not single out some of their supporters and hosting them to a private dinner with alleged state funds.  At this point we need a Nigerian First Lady, not an APC first lady, not a PDP first lady.

I personally like Aisha Buhari and believe this was just the wrong move at the wrong time. People are angry and looking for any reason to voice out their anger. She really should have just stayed neutral and focused on other pressing matters. An end of the year dinner is not priority. I took to twitter to state my personal feelings about the Social Media Change Agent Party and I will reiterate it here.

  • The first lady obviously needs better advisers and an even better Publicist who advises on what is made forefront in news regarding her!
  • Aisha Buhari can learn a lot from Michelle Obama. There are things the First Lady should never mix herself up with.
  • I think right now Aisha Buhari should focus her attention on the IDP’s ! Making sure its inhabitants are properly cared for. She should also focus on education.
  • If I were First Lady of a country like Naija, my main focus would be education, healthcare, care of displaced citizens – her Publicity advisers should be changed.
  • The position of the First Lady of Nigeria carries with it a lot of power and influence.. It should be used wisely
  • There is nothing wrong with getting together with concerned youths.. The style and manner (and that awful title) is what has people upset.
  • It should have been hosted in a TED conference style way — bring the people, bring the speakers,  bring the reps – listen listen listen and then act on it.

The few people you see on twitter are not the masses. It’s sad to say the masses are people like Mama Joy who wakes up at 4am to go sell Boli on the roadside to feed her children. The masses are people like Mr Bayo the Vulganizer who after a long day in the heat fixing tires for a measly 100 naira has to still come home to no light, and no water. The masses are University graduates who toil the streets of Naija looking for a job. Yes they need people to speak for them, but they need neutral people who do not have their own agenda representing them. I always say if you are born into comfort, do not by a mile think your life is anywhere close to the life of an average Nigerian. I have seen first hand what people go through due to govt greed and it is unacceptable.

If she had hosted a TED style conference where they invite the average Nigerian to speak, I don’t think people would have been this upset. I also think it would have helped her as a first lady feel a connect to the situation on ground. It would have helped her as a first lady feel the pain of her people. What should have happened was an end of the year youth conference where people come to discuss the way forward. Where people can tell her about their personal experiences and what they would like to see change in 2016. Where the average Nigerian who doesn’t have access to luxury can share their story. This to me is what the first lady should have done. And this to me is what a change agent should be. The youth want their own voice, the masses wish to be heard. She is powerful enough to give them that – but not in a one night, come and chop and be merry while my country suffers way. This is what I feel may help – again like many others who have spoken on this – this is my opinion.

I know Nigeria will be great once again – I am just not sure it will happen with this generation.

Toni Payne

Author: Toni Payne

Toni Payne is a creative writer, poet, voiceover artist, media personality and entrepreneur. She enjoys writing inspirational quotes, short stories, and poetry about various topics from romance to self-love. She also does voiceover readings of short stories and flash fiction on her podcast and writes travel, exotic cars and beauty lifestyle articles. At her leisure, she writes musings about pop culture, entertainment, relationships and more.

6 thoughts

  1. I am not quite sure what my opinion on this is, because I’m that versed on Nigerian politics/discussion around it. But I’m just here to LMAO at the CV qualifications.

  2. I am sorry but this is simply moaning for moaning sake. Come on!

    To say that those who contributed one way or the other to the success of the Buhari-Osinbajo campaign cannot and must not be appreciated by the team that they worked so hard and diligently for, until all the ills and defects of Nigeria are resolved is just plain silly and smacks resoundingly of “bad belle” and indeed sour grape.

    Only a person marooned on Mars for the past 12 months will not know just how central social media was to the last Nigerian presidential election.

    The then ruling party went all out to disseminate lies and untruths about the APC presidential candidate, General Buhari, in a manner unprecedented in Nigeria’s electoral history. Hundreds of millions of Naira was spent by the PDP to sway Nigerians to its side and to turn them against Buhari.

    It took strenuous and immense work on the part of dozens of unpaid, un-appointed and unofficial Internet based change agents both in Nigeria and in the Diaspora to fight the ruling party to a standstill. It was fire for fire and the perseverance and fortitude of the change agents, of which I am a proud member, paid off.

    Most did not know one another and only found solace in similar views that they espoused on Facebook , Twitter and what have you.

    Thus the least that the presidency could do was to celebrate all the foot soldiers of change.

    And though I could not honour the invite due to other commitments, I doff my hat to fellow change agents and wish them well in their various endeavours.

    Much accomplished yet much more to do.

    Kudos to you all.

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