Posts Tagged ‘social media consultant’

A few things told me I was ready to do an entrepreneurs edition of #31Days31Writers:

  1. I’d run the entrepreneur interview series on my blog several times, and not only did the articles get great feedback, they opened new doors of opportunities for the business owners. I have however been remiss in sourcing entrepreneurs for that category on the blog and so I thought, why not get the entrepreneurs sell themselves?
  2. #31Days31Writers (again on the blog) was a massive success the two times I’ve run it! Again, great feedback, the amazing stories and perspectives from the writers, and it was such a joy having fresh content every single day of the month!

And so I thought, why don’t I dedicate one edition solely to entrepreneurs? Why not celebrate the brilliant young men and women braving the odds working through unfavorable circumstances to keep their dreams visions alive? Why not offer them this platform to showcase their services, strengths, and unique edge?

Why not?

And that’s it folks, this is your space!

Criteria

Be an entrepreneur (defined by Google as “a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit”). Is this you? That’s all the criteria you need!

 

Send 500 words, covering the following

  • What do you do?
  • Why you stated your business/what gets you excited about it?
  • What year did you start this business, and where?
  • Immediate challenges you faced then and what you did to deal with them?
  • Where do you see your business at the end of the year, and in five years?

That’s it! Please send in a photo with your submission – could be of your products/address/whatever you feel compliments your work; feel free to create one for this if you want. Send it to dfairygodsister(at)gmail(dot)com with your name and #31Days31Writers as the subject of the mail, and you’re in!

I’ve got 25 slots open, and the first people to send in their entries, get it!

Start sending in your entries in already!

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 17,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

The first time I interviewed Elnathan on the blog, it was the definition of a ‘no holds barred’ discussion. For me it was a blessing that we could have that chat, because I was fed up of the Moslems versus Christians angle to the carnage that happened (especially in the North) after the 2011 elections. Elnathan was a breath of fresh air (still is) and it was great to catch him for a few minutes a few days ago to get his opinion on a few issues.

Enjoy!

D Fairy GodSister: Hello Elnathan! Nice to have you on the 3, 2, 1 series again; you know it’s always a pleasure to have you here.

ELNATHAN: The pleasure is mine Chioma

D Fairy GodSister: Are we going to start arguing about pleasure now? Lol!

ELNATHAN: Ok. I concede the pleasure

D Fairy GodSister: Lol! Let’s start with, I’m sure you heard of the bomb that went off in the Sultanate today (30th July 2012), what do you think of this whole bombing/Boko Haram business? As in your honest, unadulterated opinion?

ELNATHAN: I think these are symptoms of a much deeper country-wide decay. I do not like talking about the individual bombings. They are all together a pointer to what we as a nation have been sowing, namely, brazen corruption, deliberate underdevelopment, greed, clueless leadership, complacent complicit followership

D Fairy GodSister: Ok. It started out as a sect against Western Education, then on to Moslems destroying the worship places of other Christians, and vice versa.  In the first interview you granted it had a political undertone, young people disgusted at their leaders. What is going on now?

ELNATHAN: Many people have bought a franchise in what was once a strictly. ‘Boko Haram’ affair. One isn’t even sure who is doing what. People know that there isn’t a sincere serious leadership. So they are taking advantage of it. The real Boko Haram is still an outstanding issue. This is the result of too much corrupt money in the hands of too many desperate people.

D Fairy GodSister: True that…. *sigh* Let’s say you woke up one morning, and you found you were president of Nigeria, with all its attendant positives and negatives. What would do in the first one week?

ELNATHAN: First.

  • Stop all payments by government. Track and verify all payments. I would freeze all government accounts and do an audit to find out what we really have.
  • I would close our borders
  • I would ban sirens even for the Presidential convoy (which won’t be more than 4 cars).
  • I give MDA’s a deadline for all outstanding projects. Apart from these little things however I would nothing too quickly

D Fairy GodSister: Ha ha ha…. You would be very tough wouldn’t you?

ELNATHAN: I would assess the situation. Breathe. Then move cautiously but firmly.

D Fairy GodSister: True. Still sampling your opinions.. What do you think of ejecting the Fulani’s from Jos?

ELNATHAN: Do you mean Special Task Force eviction order in some Plateau towns? I think the STF initially didn’t handle the PR angle well so that what could have been a normal operation was read to mean an anti-Fulani campaign. Again because of the existing distrust between the Fulani and the Plateau government it was important for them to have done a lot of public relations work especially among the Ardo’s who would have passed a correct message together with assurances to their people.

There were many fears, a lot of them justified. Would they be allowed to return to their homes? Would they be taken care of? Would the Plateau Government be involved in relief distribution? Would they be assured of protection of their cattle as they moved out?

D Fairy GodSister: All that talk seems to have died down now. What are the options for them if they are evicted though? Where do they go?

ELNATHAN: There was supposed to be camps; temporary shelters where they would receive aid until the end of the operation when they would be able to go home. The STF to my knowledge has already started giving out these materials and I know that some Fulani have put together a fund to help primarily, the effort by Dr. Aliyu Tilde who has been in the forefront of protecting Fulani rights in this issue.

D Fairy GodSister: Why move them though? What’s the rationale behind moving people from a life they’ve known?

ELNATHAN: There was supposed to be a military operation to flush out certain ‘militants’ who were said to have been in the areas affected. The STF I believe did not want to incur a lot of collateral damage in the event of heavy fighting. However the issue of the sedentary Fulani communities in Plateau and the conflict with local (Berom) tribes is another issue. Complex as it is unfortunate.

D Fairy GodSister: *sigh* Away from the north, what was the inspiration for your ‘how to’ series?

ELNATHAN: The How To series was an attempt to shift a bit from the traditional sometimes heavy and boring way of talking about Nigeria. Satire is a perfect tool for this. It also makes for easy reading.

D Fairy GodSister: It’s absolutely hilarious!

ELNATHAN: I admire Peter Pan Enahoro and have looked up to him as an example in this regard with his ‘How to be a Nigerian‘ and ‘The complete Nigerian’. However one of the persons who have inspired me the most and still inspires me is the Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina; His ‘How To write about Africa’ was my immediate inspiration.

D Fairy GodSister: Ok. What’s the next in the How To series? A little scoop for my readers?

ELNATHAN: Ah part of the fun is the waiting! I can say however that it will be a part two of something I have done before

D Fairy GodSister: Awwww, c’mon!

ELNATHAN: Trade secret; go ask coca cola their recipe

D Fairy GodSister: Smh! I’ll let that go, if you tell us what you’ve been up to since the last interview you gave us.

ELNATHAN: Writing a book. Teaching. Working on bringing back the literary movement in my home state, Kaduna, putting on weight and mourning the loss of the love of my life Funmi, my sepia notepad which was stolen by robbers in my house. Funmi held a good many unfinished stories. But I am healing.

D Fairy GodSister: Well done, and my condolences on Funmi! Any human ‘love of your life’? Male or female?

ELNATHAN: No. Only a best friend who is more than making up for it. And kind amazing friends who make my world go round.

D Fairy GodSister: True that! Thank you again Elnathan you always rock my pages!

ELNATHAN: You rock! I am honoured to be on your pages. Take care.

Elnathan….

Ok, so I’ve really slacked in finishing this series, don’t blame me, it’s the work of my detractors (in Mr President’s voice). Lol, that’s not even funny.

This is the fourth and final post in the Edo Decides Series…. Click on the links for posts one, two, and three if you haven’t already read them so you have a bit of perspective. K?

So, who knows that it doesn’t just rain, it pours? You would think the rest of the day (Sunday) would go smoothly…. Nope. It didn’t.

I had the privilege of meeting renowned Channels political correspondent Deji Bademosi that evening, and we all went on a little cruise around the city, look around, feel the pulse kind of thing. We drove past the Esama of Benin, HRH Chief Sir Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion’s house. His Royal Highness is father to the former governor of Edo State, and is famous for his ‘when a child fails a class you let him repeat it’ speech at his son’s campaign for a second term. God save Nigeria. By the way, his house in the city sits on an estimated two hectares of land.

We also went past the castles houses of some prominent PDP stalwarts whose names I won’t mention because we didn’t drive past any of the houses belonging to the opposition. Agreed?

One thing is evident from the routes we took, on nine out of ten roads, there are no gutters, and so in the rains that fell from Saturday afternoon, the roads were flooded. Potholes + water = malaria dear Governor elect! Plus you owe me, my suede shoes were ruined!

Then we went to Ring Road, arguably the biggest roundabout in Nigeria (some folks say the one in Ibadan is bigger). People were everywhere, young guys and gals coupled in corners, a live band inspiring people in a group to ‘bend low’, suya spots, ice cream vans, sit out spots where alcohol and every possible peppersoup was up for consumption; there was a whole lot going on inside!

After we parked, and were walking to the fountain (me desperately trying to salvage what the puddles around had left of my suede shoes), we saw a Toyota Camry (2010) speed into the grounds (potholes and bumps regardless) with young urchins perched on the windows. I was about to panic then I saw they were waving brooms in the air. SMH I thought, these people have  their ways of celebrating.

We got to the fountain, couldn’t take any pictures because people kept walking into our shot (SMH), and then it was time to go. There were three army trucks arriving as we were walking back to the car, and even though I heard there were just there to ensure safety, I was happy we were leaving. Me and the army? Abeg I cannot shout!

We piled into the car, and headed to a fish spot called Tasties. Word of warning, when fish at a fish spot doesn’t taste nice/fresh, leave; chances are everything else will be rotten, including customer service. Was there an incident? Yes did I get pissed? Yes. Did I show it? Of course. That’s all I’ll say about that.

Same night Goldie was evicted from the Big Brother Africa house, and Twitter was on fire!! Dang! I didn’t watch BBA but from following tweets I’m sure I would narrate (with at least 85% accuracy) all that had gone on in the house till Miss ‘I love Prezzo’ left the house.

MONDAY

Woke up with a very upset stomach, I knew I shouldn’t have eaten that fish! More bad news, one of us lost her purse with quite a bit of money inside. More than that she had ID and bank cards inside too. The only place that could have happened would have been the fish spot but they said they didn’t see it. I kinda felt that even if they did, they withheld it as punishment for my drama the night before. *sigh*

We had a meeting to finalize on the report we were writing over breakfast. Breakfast reminded me of fries from Burger King, the chips were so crisp! Whoop!! Chicken was stewed to perfection, and I made a mental note to tip generously. I love food, bite me! Speaking of food, which of my readers have tried the Hallelujah diet? How far?

I learnt something new that morning from Dipo Fasoro, one of the members of the team. Dipo is a brilliant software developer, and the lead consultant at Macgrenor, how to share network connections. Whoop whoop!! I’ll share in a different post but help me say a big thank you to Dipo!

We headed for the airport, our flight was for 1.30pm. We got there an hour before, checked in, had lunch at Sizzlers, and then the wait began. I knew we were chopped and screwed when we heard FAAN had grounded one of their planes in Abuja (long story), and again thought about the monopoly Arik is abusing enjoying.

Sizzlers…..*sigh* With their dodgy catfish….

Some interesting construction work going on here….

About 3pm, a group of young, rough-looking urchins floated into the waiting area, a chubby looking fellow dressed in a sparkling white kaftan in between all of them. I knew I had seen that clean-shaven, wide-eyed look on a face before, and then it hit me, it was none other than Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari! Young Jock walked to the tarmac (of course he wasn’t searched) where a private plane was waiting, boarded, and then his chipmunks left the airport. *cough*

When Arik decided we’d waited enough, the plane arrived from Abuja, and we finally left Benin past 4.30pm. Pretty uneventful flight, Mercy and I chatted so much, was a wonderful 50 minutes! Horrible landing though, why do pilots around here land like they plan to bounce back into the air? Another tale for another day.

Good bye Benin!

Ok, so this post captures a bit of day one, but mainly day two of my trip to Edo State because #Edowasdeciding. Part one is here.

So, we touched down safely (thank you Lord), and first thing I noticed was a lot of construction work going on at the airport, very interesting. Who’s in charge of fixing up airports, the federal or state governments? I asked because I don’t know. Met up with @_yemia, @rmajayi, and @dfasoro who I was meeting for the first time. We loaded ourselves into our car, and went off to The Excalibur, our home for the next few days. Was a pleasant surprise to see @nigerianblogger, and to meet @jidealuko and Afolabi; they were both fabulous, were very helpful, and made our stay very comfortable (cc @_yemia). Got in to find that apart from my back acting like someone had set fire to it, my ‘friend’ was around so I had a bath, popped a few painkillers, and went to sleep.

About painkillers, @rmajayi and I went out to get them (she was feeling poorly as well), and two things stood out; police presence was scary. Kai! They were like everywhere, and since I don’t kid myself about the police being my friend I was uncomfortable. Especially since they were shouting and making noise on the road, for no reason! SMH! It was kind of good we went out though, because we spoke to different people, a lady selling lime, another one selling apples, the one roasting corn I think, quite a few of them. All of them wanted Oshiomole back, but not everyone wanted to vote. One lady said she was afraid, said, ‘dem fit fight’. Honestly, I didn’t doubt her, not with the security report we had access to before we got into Benin.

The evening, the morning….

Saturday. I was up by 7am, shout out to @Channels_TV for their live coverage of the elections . Noticed a few things about the place; the room was nice, was a suite actually, and it was really nice. Problem? Internet was crappy. More like they had no internet service at all. Good thing we had dongles and everything, our trip would have been in vain! I was still battling pain in my back so I could only sit for a few hours at a time, and I had to pop pain killers every few hours *sigh*

Based on our brief, some of us monitored conversations online, while the rest of us went out to do the monitoring in person. Below are four points I took away from ll the monitoring:

  • If you have to share any information online that isn’t originally yours, please time stamp it, otherwise you end up doing more harm than good. So you don’t come on Twitter at noon, see an incident your friend tweeted about 8am, and then start retweeting furiously. Especially in a crisis, it only serves to hype tensions and spread terror; it’s even worse if you’re sharing the information after the problem has been solved/crisis has been quelled. @Channels_TV was guilty of doing that severally, and at some point I had to tweet at them.
  • Sift through whatever information you accept. People will do anything to get a retweet, or a random follower, even if it means peddling absolute falsehood. It is your responsibility to verify before you accept. There was a particular incident during the elections where someone was tweeting from their bedroom in a city miles away from where the election was happening and tagging them ‘eyewitness reports’. Don’t fall into the hands of mischievous people.
  • People want to know. @rmajayi and I met a group of guys at one of the polling units holding the ReVoDa handbook. If you didn’t know, ReVoDa is an app that turns every one into a citizen reporter during elections. Powered via SMS and only functional with valid PU details, you can send a message about what’s happening at your polling center. One of them wasn’t sure what the app could do but we explained and he said he’d download it and use after he voted. That felt good, like we had just ‘converted him’.

Our convert. Lol….

  • Put your actions where your belief is. I believe the elections of 2015 will be different in the sense that not only will there be more eligible voters than there are now, but people more than ever are aware of the power their votes have, and are motivated more than ever to wield that power. Doesn’t matter if they’re voting for a candidate because he built a water fountain, it’s their choice.

Tired as we were, we took some pictures when we all got back, especially with @nigerianblogger who got arrested with @governoryves earlier in the day; full story is here. By the way, looks like ‘Oshiobaba’ is going to win!

From left to right that’s Mercy, Dipo, Me, Jide, and Scott!

Film poster for The Pirates! - Courtesy of Col...

Film poster for The Pirates! - Courtesy of Columbia Pictures (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I reviewed Pirates: An Adventure with Scientists for YNaija sometime in April this year. Read it a few nights ago and just thought to share it with you. Enjoy!

I love animation, watch it every chance I get. Going to see Pirates: An Adventure with Scientists was not my idea though, was my six-year-old nephew’s. Warning!!! Do not promise a child a cinema date if you don’t see it happening in the nearest future; they will weary you with reminders! Truth is, it wasn’t totally against my will; since I saw one trailer and then heard it had taken over 500 people and five years to make my interest was piqued. Plus it’s set in England, what else would you expect from a Bristol-based company?

About the film. Pirates: An Adventure with Scientists is a tale of a largely unsuccessful pirate crew led by the Pirate Captain voiced by Hugh Grant (swoons) who has sworn to enter and win the Pirate of the Year Award ahead of competition Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven), and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek). Only problem is the one he’s got though; to stand a chance the pirate crew must present some remarkable booty, and plunder as many ships as possible. The closest Pirate Captain has come to remarkable though is the runner-up award for ‘best anecdote about a squid’.

After being humiliated by Black Bellamy, Cutlass Liz and lots of other pirates at Blood Island when he goes to pick his nomination form, he swears to clinch the title, leaves in a huff and proceeds to attack a geography class expedition ship, a nudist ship, a ghost ship, and a plague ship Gold, possessions, and/or rides taken? None. Zilch. Nada!

Pirate Captain and his crew attack one last ship and find Charles Darwin (David Tennant) working on some experiments. By the way, Darwin’s only fear in life is that he might never get a girlfriend. Smart Darwin convinces Pirate Captain that Polly his beloved Parrot is actually a dodo, and the last of an almost extinct species. Presentation of the dodo at an annual meeting of scientists will fetch quantum amounts of gold, riches, and acclaim. The Pirate Captain is sold, and against the advice of his crew, they set sail for London. Can I say that Polly the parrot looks closer to a chicken or duck than a parrot?

Anyway, so the Queen (whose motto is ‘I hate Pirates’) finds them out despite their disguise. What follows involves the sale of the Polly, Pirate Captain ‘s Pirate of the year Award which he holds for all of one minute, his crew’s disillusionment and desertion, a battle (per se), and a happy ending all animations are sworn to.

Did I enjoy it? I loved it! The script was beautiful, with just the right dose of sarcasm, and I thought the cue card wielding monkey was hilarious!

Released in the US as The Pirates! Band of Misfits, this film shows Aardman Animations is still major competition for DreamWorks and Pixar.

Unfortunately, 3D these days has become another way to pillage consumers; it being in 3D did absolutely nothing for/to it. That was the only trouble I had with it, and maybe the fact that I’m getting too old to be thoroughly enjoying films like these.

Off to watch my first horror movie.

Good people!!

Guess what! It’s another Saturday, and even better, it’s the Saturday before my birthday!!! If you didn’t know, now you know… Send those gifts in already jor! I’d have put out a wish list but I know you know the things I want right? Trust you! Lol…

Right! So I’m excited about the responses I’ve been getting, thank you for the pictures you’ve been sending in!! If you didn’t know, the pinch of humor category is what it is, pictures from any and everywhere that have amused you and you’d like to share. Have any? Send them to dfairygodsister@yahoo.com, and I promise to credit you! Please include a first/nick name or a Twitter handle in your email too!! Thanks!

Enjoy the pictures for this week!

Totally love this one!! Courtesy the @i_blend group on bbm; the day I’ll give gifts for the ‘most pictures from’ category, for now it’s easy to tell where it’ll go!

Awesome!! This one’s courtesy KLBEENG! Thank you!

Courtesy Berry, permit me to be petty enough to dedicate this to anyone who’s beefing me! Get well soon!

Seriously!! As in seriously!!!

Beautiful way to end today’s post!! Yes darling, I studied ‘banker’ too!

That’s all folks!! Have a fabulous weekend, and don’t forget to say happy birthday to me tomorrow!! Hugs!!

Hello!!!

this post was originally posted here, and is my pod for all things social media. It got such a response I decided I would put it on here for people who didn’t know that site existed! Now you know! You’re welcome to like our page on Facebook , enjoy the post!

If you’re looking for new ways to improve your blog and increase your readership, there are always a few key tips you can follow to inject some energy back into the blog and garner some excitement. They’re very simple, and I guarantee you’ll have fun with them as you explore!

1. Talk about yourself! A good place to start is by telling your own story.  Who are you, why are you writing this blog, and what do you want to share with the world? Your readers want to know you, and know why you’re writing.  Plus, if you’re stuck with a bit of writer’s block, what subject do you know better than yourself? What lessons have you learnt in your time on earth? How can you make your readers smile? Go on, dig deep!

2. Create a regular feature. Find a topic that you can write on and feature regularly. Whether it’s interviews related to the subject of your blog, or maybe just a weekly photo, creating a recurring feature gives you some structure within which to plan, and gives your readers something to look forward to. A regular feature also suggests that your articles not be too far and in-between. Write as often as you can, don’t let your readers wait too long for something new.

3. Focus on images. If you have writer’s block, look through your trove of photographs related to your blog, and start sharing some of those. Start with just writing quick captions to explain the photos, or create an entire post or story around a picture. Images are important to help your blog stand out from the others. Instead of using stock images, try taking your own pictures to make your content unique. If you are not good at photography, ask around your friends or check http://www.tradestable.com.ng to find somebody more skilled to help you.

4. Use audio and video as well. Make a short video instead of writing a post. Your readers will get to know you a little better, and you’ll get to try something different and exciting. Experiment with podcasting, video blogging, see how you feel about it!

5. Seek out inspiration.  Think about why you started the blog in the first place, what you love to write about, where your passions lay. Go out and experience those things again, find experiences for you to write about and share. Think about things that make you laugh, pleasant memories, and if you’re brave enough, things that have made you cry. People relate very well to things like that….

6. Explore the offline world. There are now blogger conferences for just about every genre. Find a meet-up in your area and get out there and network. Talk to others who write about similar topics. You’ll come away with new ideas and new friends! Never forget that online drives offline, and vice versa; they don’t exist exclusively!

7. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Whether it’s from other bloggers or just trusted friends, seek out their feedback, and advice on your work.  Solicit suggestions on where you could take the blog and what improvements you could make. No one is beyond correction, and what looks marvelous to you might just be putting your readers off!

courtesy gembapantarei.com

8. Invite guest bloggers. Bringing a new voice onto your site will generate excitement among your readers, as well as inspiration in yourself. Reach out to bloggers that cover a similar topic, and propose a post exchange. You’ll each gain new readers and new ideas! Put in your best when writing for them, you don’t get too many chances to sell yourself!

9. Redesign your blog. Whether it’s a full overhaul or just a new template, spend some time looking at the design of your blog and whether it best fits your needs. Besides, a new theme is a brilliant way to re-invent yourself, and is a good justification to toot your horn without feeling  vain!

10. Enter the world of social media. By engaging with social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, you can promote your brand, as well as encounter new sources of inspiration from your fans, followers, and fellow bloggers. You can also take advantage of the many functionalities these platforms allow, like syndicating publishing, sharing, etc.

There you go, 10 ways to improve your blog!! I’ll add an eleventh for good measure….

11. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  If you want people to read your articles and comment, like, share, or reblog them, when last were you on someone else’s blog? When last did you comment on a post, or share something you read and really liked? When was the last time you linked to someone else’s blog in a post? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

I said on Twitter this morning that there was nothing new to write about Nigeria and our government; it’s the same evil made manifest in loads of different ways. We have a government on the one hand that has exchanged its conscience and morals for oil, and a people who are too short-sighted and too easily distracted to work towards long lasting solutions. In my opinion, and every day I am further convinced that Nigeria’s problems are 50% leadership, and 50% ‘followership'; why else will youths still allow themselves to be used as puppets in protests they have no knowledge about?

The post below was written by a stellar journalist and good friend of mine, Tolu Ogunlesi and I echo every sentiment expressed. It is titled, ‘The Nigerian Government is guilty of crimes against humanity’ and was first published here.

Remember where you were that New Year’s Day afternoon when you first heard—and disbelieved—the news. Initially it was like a terrorist attack no one was willing to claim responsibility for. And then the truth hit home, hard. Our government had successfully stolen the shine from Boko Haram, and exploded a bomb in the pockets and psyches of already longsuffering Nigerians.

In the weeks that followed, Nigeria burned. Armed with lies, intimidation, condescension, and (eventually) soldiers, the government waged relentless war against the Nigerian people“The subsidy has to go. No going back! Nigeria cannot afford this. It is for the good of the people; we’re doing this for your future!”

Never before in the history of Nigeria had so many been condescended to, by so few.

They cooked and threw figures at us; flung promises as loud as they were empty. The President created 370,000 jobs in one speech (a probable world record by any standards), and with a straight face ‘paid’ civil service salaries on the 20th of every month. They also ordered “palliative” buses after the fact – incontrovertible evidence of the fact that their DNA is imprinted with contempt for the people they pretend to lead.

Now, with the release of the fuel subsidy probe report (the credit for which belongs to the Nigerian people, who put unprecedented pressure on a government unfamiliar with the concept of accountability), the chickens have found their way home—shorn of the feathers that long shielded their anuses. This moment in history, if not for the inherent tragedy, would have been a perfect ‘we-told-you-so’ moment.

For me the issue has always been clear, as follows: Under Mr Jonathan’s watch, fuel subsidies rose (at least) three-fold. Instead of looking inwards, finding the reasons for that, taking responsibility, and punishing the implicated criminals, the government chose the easy – and unconscionable – way out: it turned its anger on a hapless people, and blamed them for its sins.

It’s one of the worst things any government can do; in my opinion nothing short of “crimes against humanity.” I have not used that term lightly or thoughtlessly, and by using it I am not in any way trying to equate the January crises with, say, the Rwandan genocide, or the sufferings of Syrians under the brutal Assad. No. Indeed a lone hit-and-run fatality and a survivor-less plane crash can both share the word “tragedy”, without the ‘smaller’ tragedy triggering accusations of seeking to devalue the resonance of the ‘larger’ one, and of the word “tragedy” itself.

I look at what the government did in January, against the backdrop of the revelations from the probe, and find it consistent with the patterns of governments that commit crimes of genocide against their people. A government that could do what it did – all those lies and emotional blackmail – all in a bid to avoid taking responsibility for its failings, will go to any lengths anytime it finds itself on the wrong side of the people’s wishes.

And of course we saw that happen on the day they crushed the protests – they deployed armed troops to the streets of Lagos, and then tried to frame Governor Fashola by saying he requested for the deployment.

It is a simple law of potential & progression: A government that lies against the people with such impunity will turn the military on them without blinking. And a government that turns the military on its people to crush protests against its lies is at any point in time merely a few steps from where Mr Assad currently is. Let’s not forget that people died protesting last January!

Now that the truth is out, and it has emerged that the Nigerian people are not the parasites their government painted them to be (parasites sucking the life out of the Nigerian state through their addiction to ‘cheap’ petrol); now that it’s clear who the real parasites are, and that the aiders and abetters of parasitism are the same ones who were loudest in defence of the subsidy-removal; the least Mr Jonathan, his henchmen and henchwomen can do is tender an unreserved public apology for their countless crimes against the Nigerian people.

Ok, are you new to the Oke story? Statement of the problem is here, pictures of the problem here (not for the light-hearted I must warn), and phase one of the solution is here.

A lot of thoughts have run through my mind from the very first night I became aware of Oke and I just thought to share four of them with you. I’m also sharing a documentary made by a close friend of mine, Onye Ubanatu, capturing the essence of Oke’s story.

SOCIAL MEDIA IS POWERFUL

I’ve never doubted the power of social media (wouldn’t have studied it if I did) but if I did, this campaign would have forever put paid to those doubts. The speed with which the blog posts spread and the amazing functionality called the ‘retweet’.  Jerry Seinfeld was right when he said this of Twitter, “Twitter is progress; why say to one what you can say to all”. Amazing! And say to all we did, in just a few hours his pictures and story were literally everywhere! Thanks to the WordPress’ ‘stat by country’ functionality I could see just the numbers of people from the different countries, and believe me it was amazing!

NIGERIA IS IN TROUBLE

Oke’s story was just another instance pointing to a problem we (Nigeria) haven’t gotten past. Unfortunately, even in 2012 we are still in the ‘reaction’ rather than ‘proactive’ mode. No one thinks to plan for the future, hell we’re barely getting through today! Fully discussing that will take all day so I’ll just say that all the information I got about Oke’s illness I found here. That website also features simple definitions and presentations of types and symptoms, care for people with diabetes, and even available support groups! And it’s all correct, up to date information! Do we have functional bodies like that here? No. All we’re saddled with are committees catering to committees set up to review the work done (or not) by committees. SMH!

WHO SINGS FOR THE UNSUNG?

The day after I spoke published the ‘Save Oke, we saved Oke’ post; I got one BBM broadcast about a young Nigerian in the clutches of another terminal illness who needs to seek treatment abroad. Someone else tweeted a link at me, and that evening I got email; three different people in one day! I flashed back to the campaign when I asked (in a private email to a group) if anyone else was thinking about the people who didn’t have anyone to blog about their problems. Who would cater to those ones? I’m asking those questions again; who runs with their stories?

How many people die every day because they have no access to qualitative healthcare? How many ‘trivial’ cases transform into life threatening because they were not nipped in the bud with adequate treatment? Who sings for the unsung?

WE ARE STILL THE WORLD

Social media has always and will always revolve around people. Social media without human involvement can be compared to a beautiful car without a driver: it is nothing without our input. It is one thing to sit in the comfort of your home and moan every day about everything going wrong with the country, how the government doesn’t care, how we need a ‘paradigm shift (lol), etc. It is a totally different (and more profitable) thing however to do your civic duties, know your leaders (local and national), and then hold them accountable by getting informed, asking them questions, you know the drill. In the same vein, while I am grateful to everyone who tweeted and retweeted Oke’s story, it is the ones who actually donated I am grateful to. Imagine if we were all tweeting, ‘Facebooking’, and no one did anything. We’d sooner be tweeting at his funeral!

This whole campaign has taught me that technology (in different formats, functionalities) will come and go but people will always remain. We are the answers to the questions we seek; we are the world we want to live in.

P: S – As you read, Oke is in India with his sister, and a state appointed consultant. I spoke to him the night before he left, and told him to document his ‘Osuofia’ stories for me, cos I’m sure he’ll have plenty!