Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Social media interaction may not be a true
reflection of friendship or otherwise. But how will
you feel if you visit your WhatsApp just to realise
that your friend has blocked you?
By merely clicking like, liked, follow, unfollow,
block, unblock and other similar buttons, one
makes a statement about one’s social relationship
with others. It is on this basis that some people
consider social media relationship as an extension
of physical relationship and as a means of
assessing two individuals’ cordiality.
Two public figures whose social media relationship
may have posed a question to the Internet users
are President Muhammadu Buhari and his
predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
Jonathan, whose declaration for the 2011
presidential race was revealed via Facebook,
unveiled his personal Twitter handle –
@GEJonathan – a few months ago. He has since
hooked with a few of his associates. But if you
think Buhari is among individuals Jonathan is
following, you are wrong.
Among eminent persons and organisations
following Jonathan are the United States President,
Barack Obama; presidents of Côte d’Ivoire and
Kenya, Alassane Ouattara and Uhuru Kenyatta,
respectively; the Jimmy Carter Presidential library
and Museum; Executive Director of the United
Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, Michel Sidibé;
the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation and Georja
Calvin-Smith of France 24.
Buhari was not on the list as of Tuesday.
On the other hand, Jonathan is not on Buhari’s
official Twitter ( @NGRPresident) that has Vice-
President, Yemi Osinbajo; the President’s media
aides, Femi Adesina and Shehu Garba; wife of the
President, Aisha; a communication firm, StateCraft
Inc, and Siya Xuza of South Africa.
The President has a wider web of following on his
personal page – @MBuhari . On this page, Buhari
follows 51 tweeters, including local media
organisations, key members of his 2015
presidential election campaign team, cabinet
members, other heads of states and a few ‘lucky’
ordinary citizens.
President Obama, the US Secretary of States, John
Kerry; office of a former British Prime Minister,
Tony Blair; Jacob Zuma of South Africa and his
Rwanda’s counterpart, Paul Kagame, are a few
global figures on the list. Still, Jonathan’s Twitter
page is missing on the page.
A search through Facebook pages of the two
leaders also shows that they are not each other’s
fan.
Both Jonathan and Buhari are notable users of
Facebook. But because of inconsistent updates,
they may have started losing their follows on the
platform.
For instance, Buhari has lost 706 New Page Likes
in the past one week.
His Total Page Like, as of Tuesday, was 166,808, a
figure that does not reflect the growth rate the
page experienced before his election.
The decline may be attributed to irregular update
suffered by the page in recent months. For
instance, the account has been inactive since June
18, 2015.
His famous @MBuhari has suffered similar scanty
engagements in recent times. The page has not
been in use since September 6, 2015 when the
President highlighted his achievements in 100 days
in office.
With 782 tweets in eight months of governance, not
many people will consider @NGRPresident a
‘performing’ Twitter handle, considering the
volume of social media requests Nigerians send to
him daily.
Again, with 32 days gone in 2016, the Twitter
handle has yet to publish anything on its timeline
this year. The last post on the page, interestingly,
was a call on Nigerians to engage the President on
social media during his inaugural presidential
media chat.
“Nigerians can participate in the discussion on
social media by using the hashtag #PMBMediaChat
and by mentioning @MBuhari,” he had posted.
Source: Punch

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