The Presidency urged Nigerians not to use social media for expressing bitterness and hurling insults at him and other Nigerian political leaders…

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INTERNET PUNCH 6 JANUARY 2014

The Presidency has urged Nigerians to stop making use of the new media to hurl abuses at President Goodluck Jonathan and other political leaders in the new year.

It said Nigerians, especially the youths, who are in the habit of expressing “bitterness” as well as hurling “insults” at the President should have a change of attitude in 2014.

The Presidency, through the Special Assistant to the President on New Media, Reno Omokri, stated on Twitter that if the bitter insults hurled by some Nigerians at Jonathan  and other political leaders online in 2013 didn’t better their lot, they should consider not taking them into 2014.

Omokri stated that no matter how those who attack the President online intensify their efforts, “men cannot undo what God has done.”

He added that the continued expression of bitterness by some Nigerians online may go a long way in limiting their appreciation of the “possible” giant strides of the President in 2014.

He stated, “Circumstances don’t change unless behaviour changes. If bitterness and insults didn’t change your situation in 2013, don’t take them to 2014!

“In 2014, shouldn’t we use Twitter as a vehicle for exchanging ideas that focus our attention on how to better each other rather than insults?

“The circumstances surrounding his  rise to power are proof that God put President Jonathan where he is and men cannot undo what God has done.

“Insults are available to everyone. They are overlooked by those who want to rise but embraced by those who want to pull the risers down.

“Ideas lead to cooperation and expand our sense of what is possible. Insults lead to isolation, thus limiting our sense of what is possible.”

But Nigerians have since responded to the allegations of online assault on the President and other officials in the Presidency, saying the majority of the said “insults” were aimed at making them focused on the business of governance.

One Fola Ademosu urged the President to endure the “insults” in as much as he and his team have yet to deliver on the much desired dividends of democracy. According to him, Nigerians have also been enduring “insults” from the Presidency as a result of ‘misgovernance’.

“It is the same insults we endure seeing political masqueraders trivialise governance and turn the country into their personal fiefdom,” Ademosu said.

Another respondent on Twitter, Aminu Bawa, asked the Presidency if it was “haram” for public officials to be insulted for failing in their respective constitutional duties.

He stated that if the President or any member of his team are no longer ready to stomach the “insults,” they should take the bull by the horns by turning in their resignation letters.

“Are insults haram for public officials? Nobody pays them to abuse taxpayers! If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen,” Bawa said.

Some Twitter users who caught up with the Presidency’s advice online provided it with a way out of the “insults.” Folarin, another respondent, tweeted, “Let all our leaders do what the masses can see and not some achievements on papers. The perceived insults are the  only way to show their (Nigerians) displeasure and  nothing more.”

Also, Ahmed Umar,  who dismissed the Presidency’s admonition as an “unsolicited advice” wrote, “Show decisiveness, capacity, competence and leadership and see if the insults don’t fizzle out.”

Meanwhile, a former member of the House of Representatives, Dino Melaye, has urged Nigerians to “wake up from their slumber” with a view to tackling “our tormentors and oppressors.”

In his New Year Message, the former lawmaker wrote, “2014 will be better than 2013 for you. May God heal our land and fix all our tormentors and oppressors.

“May those corrupting the country and thereby destroying us as a people experience the hand of God this year. May Nigerians wake up from their slumber and gullibility and begin to agitate for change. It is well with us a people and nation.”

Also, a former Minister of Education, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, said only “mature response” to citizens’ demands for accountability would be the most “viable option” for the Presidency in the new year.

Ezekwesili, who said she had “many great moments” making use of Twitter in the just concluded year,  said Nigerians should push for more stronger engagement with the government on various social platforms.

She said the Presidency should desist from name calling in 2014 and respond to citizens’ demands with facts.

Ezekwesili tweeted, “For Citizens, 2014 must be the year of even stronger engagement with our democracy and much deeper scrutiny of governance. For governments at all levels, 2014 is a year that only mature response to citizens’ demand for accountability will be the most viable option!

“For the National Assembly, which is the central symbol  of our being a democracy, 2014 has to be a defining period in your relationship with citizens. For the Federal Government, 2014 leaves no room for “name call” and ignoring of the substance of any citizens’ demand for accountability. Respond without facts.”

Source: PUNCH.

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