The social media is now a factor that can make or mar politicians in the world and social media has also created and aided the spread of information more than the conventional media.
Information travels very fast on social media and thus it’s susceptible for use by mischief makers. People can be misquoted or quoted out of social media leading to a resultant backlash on such a person’s image, political and social capital.
Before the last general elections, the social media was used as a platform to run down and destroy other opponents through outright propagation of falsehood, misquoting of candidates and character assassinations and the states that were in the eye of the storm while the campaigns lasted were the governors of the former main opposition party (APC) now the ruling party.
One governor the social media was used to propagate false hood in an attempt to discredit him was Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo state.
Opposition took advantage of the fact that Gov. Rochas Okorocha is a self-effacing leader who does not court publicity for self aggrandizement to tarnish the governor’s image on social media platforms. There was nothing on earth they didn’t write to smear the governor’s name, but the more the publications the more his popularity grew across the federation.
Neighbouring states whose former governors’ eight years rule impoverished their states more than they met it were not even undermined the way some conceited politicians in Imo state and their paid apologists did to the people’s governor in his first tenure.
One of the disadvantages of such reports on the social media is that Nigerians who are moved by sentiments instead of strategic thinking sometimes believe such gibberish and convincing them that such hogwash only exists on the hearts of enemies of the state government becomes a herculean task.
Gov. Rochas Okorocha’s decision to expand his political vision and run an inclusive government which he did by going into alliance with 3 other political parties that merged to form APC worsened the situation. That decision gathered him a motley crowd of enemies not until after the merger produced the inevitable change.
His foresight paid off as Imo state has connected with the governing party at the centre and the only state in the South-east in the ruling party making the peoples governor the highest ranking Igbo political office holder in the APC and thus have been described as the proverbial egg of the Igbos in the change basket but not without damage to his person while the campaigns lasted and he’s still being taunted by some ethnic bigots as a traitor.
Gov. Rochas Okorocha has resumed it’s second tenure in earnest and many of the politicians complicit in the piles of scorns on print, electronic and social media against the peoples governor in the past have all turned repentant critics and have joined the peoples governor in ensuring he continues with his giant strides in Imo state while the remaining opposition politicians and their likes who are still licking their political wounds from the heavy defeat suffered on the aftermaths of the April 11th governorship election here in Imo state have resorted to black-mails and contrived propaganda. Ceaseless mudsling and their likes on social, print and electronic media have outlived their usefulness, (if any). All the contrived propaganda on social media could not stop Muhammadu Buhari from becoming president of Nigeria neither did it stop Rochas Okorocha from being re-elected as governor of Imo state. The idea of using the social media to propagate false hood about an individual, politicians nor groups should be discouraged, it will continue to do us no good. Opposition in Imo state should sheathe their swords and build a formidable opposition that will proffer an alternative ideas for the betterment of Imo state and also learn to be constructive in it’s criticism. It will go a long way in check-mating the people’s governor.