It has been 4 days since the Twitter ban has taken effect and many Nigerian Twitter users seem to have come to terms with the decision. Even though foreign governments have condemned the act, the Federal Government of Nigeria has responded by summoning the envoy of these various countries over their stand.
These moves by the current administration should show in clear terms how things would be moving forward and even though the decision might be rescinded in the future, a precedence has been set for future governments to take a leaf from. That being said, I have penned down a few things we can learn from this action by the government.
Online is never enough
No matter the noise we make on social media, we still have to make ground movements. Elections are not won online, decisions are not made online and surely revolution is not achieved online. Don’t get me wrong, the discussion can start online, the idea can be thought online, we can even shape the conversation or make a candidate acceptable online, but without a similar approach offline it stays online.
Online is more or less like an idea phase, a thinking phase, without the implementation it only stays at that phase for as long and it becomes a success or failure there.
Find an alternative
This ban shows that we need to start looking for other ways to pass messages, get involved and ultimately communicate and interact. This action just shows how any government can act when they feel too much pressure, and it is not like they are feeling more pressure than the people who are faced with insecurity, kidnapping, extortion among other crimes, the difference is they have the power to fight back hard.
To be able to get the same level of power if not more, we need to start looking for other ways to get involved. Either we get involved in politics or we support people who share the same beliefs and thoughts as we. It is now more than just the party, it is now about policies and beliefs. Who is really committed to making that necessary change even if it affects them personally?
Most of you don’t like hearing this but it is what it is. Without getting involved there will always be something you are not privy to. If you are not in the room you will not know what decisions are being made and how it will affect you until it has been made already. We need to not only get involved in politics but also sponsor people into political offices. We shouldn’t shy away from getting political appointments too, we need to be in the room when these decisions are made.
Don’t stop talking
Talking about what people should look forward to or about what they need to take as priority can go a long way. Never pass up the opportunity to speak your mind especially about what you think good governance is. That way you will also know the minds of those around you and the things to tackle. If you don’t talk with people, then you are not ready to get involved. Remember, only your vote cannot make the difference, you need the votes of others too.
Ask people questions about what they want from their government, what they expect from their leaders and that way you will be able to also discuss with them the best candidate that fits into that narrative. In a democracy it is more about the majority than about only you so no matter how much you know about politics, if others don’t know then you are alone in the minority.
As easy as this sounds, you will be surprised that many youths don’t even vote. Most of them just make comments on social media and that is it. You cannot blame them though, they have grown up to see elections turning violent and rigging here and there. Even though the voting process seems less violent compared to the first few elections when democracy returned, there are still pockets of violence here and there.
This is probably the easiest part of everything, and we have to keep voting. We might not get the result we need right now but as we continuously join the process we will surely get the result we desire.
We still have a long way to go, but surely we are closer to our destination if everyone is on board. It is our time now to fight for our country, it is our time to stand up and make sure the change we desire is here to stay.