Immediately after the registration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) political party, the party engaged in ferocious propaganda which moulded the thinking of undiscerning Nigerians negatively toward the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and then former President Gookluck Jonathan. Some prominent members of the APC used some unprintable words to describe Jonathan. A stalwart of the APC called him a “Kindergarten President” while another one called him a “Clueless President.” According to these name callers, former President Jonathan couldn’t proffer solution to the economic and security challenges confronting the country at that time, notably the heinous activities of the Boko Haram insurgents.Whatever they intended to benefit from these mortifying names I can’t tell. But one fact these name callers failed to realise is that if their president who is the first citizen of the country is a kindergarten president they themselves are lower than a kindergarten! This is so because the president of any nation is the first citizen of the country and also symbolises the calibre of citizens of that country. Again, if their president is clueless they too are less than clueless citizens as the president is above every citizen of the country by virtue of his position as the first citizen of the country.
Thus, Nigerians especially the youths who are internet savvy, capitalised on the propaganda machine of the APC and waged a potent war of words on former President Jonathan and the PDP on Facebook and other social media platforms. They were stratified along the monolithic north, South-West, South-South and South-East. But the South-West group of Facebook warriors, especially those of the Yoruba extraction was more aggressive and resolute in ensuring that Jonathan was not re-elected because they felt alienated from his government. The Facebook warriors in this region were conspicuous due to the fact that Lagos State which is part of the region is the commercial hub of the country, so it attracts people from all parts of the world. Likewise, Lagos also hosts majority of the Nigerian media therefore the residents have quick access to news and information than residents in other states of the country. Thus, the Facebook war was fiercest in this region! This was one of the factors that led to the failure of former President Goodluck Jonathan to win his re-election bid.
They resisted the removal of subsidy when the price of petrol was hiked from N65 to N140 per litre in 2012. The disgruntled Nigerians occupied the Freedom Park at Ojota singing, dancing, winning and dinning as some rich Nigerians bankrolled their expenditure which was estimated at about N7.5m! The price of fuel was later reduced to N97 per litre and was further lowered to N87 per litre. The Facebook warriors took to their Facebook walls and condemned Jonathan saying that he permitted the reduction because of elections! There was also hue and cry by the warriors over the prices of kerosene and diesel which were sold at N120 and N150 per litre respectively. These prices were only achievable because the government was subsidising these products then.
However, it is staggering that the once active Facebook warriors that opposed virtually every good policy the Jonathan’s administration introduced are now silent. Today, the Facebook warriors are buying a litre of fuel for N145; kerosene for N250; diesel for N300 at a time when a barrel of crude oil has reduced drastically to $42 at the international markets. Additionally, a bag of rice that hitherto cost N7,000 now sells for N19,000 owing to the ill-advised decision of the government to ban the importation of the grains under the guise to enable Nigerians produce rice locally. But if the ban on importation of things would encourage Nigerians to produce such things locally, President Buhari should also extend the ban to petroleum products so the refineries can begin to refine our crude oil locally too. Again, Buhari should sell the aircrafts and exotic cars in his fleet so that Nigerians can begin to manufacture these things locally. Indeed, under the APC the country has gone from good to bad!
The silence of the Facebook warriors, especially those in the South-West in the midst of these abnormalities is not healthy for the country. They should speak up because the country is retrogressing at an alarming rate.