The Digital Strategy and Engagement Unit of the Nigerian Presidency, run by Tolu Ogunlesi just tweeted that “The Presidency has a new address”. They’ve gone and opened an account on what we know as Nigeria’s most visited (local) site, and what’s certainly its biggest forum, Nairaland.
I like it. It makes a lot of sense for a government who desperately needs to prove it’s not tone-deaf to start engaging directly, actively with many of the people at the bottom of the pyramid. And it appears it’s already working – Nigerian Twitter users have generally positive reactions to the news. Between their active Twitter account (which is curiously named We ASOcial), Facebook and their newsletter, I daresay that Tolu and the rest of the media team appear to be doing a swell job.
But here’s the thing. The Nairaland community has a reputation for being the most hostile collection of people on the Nigerian interwebs – even more so, than Linda Ikeji’s comments section. Seriously.
LOL . Hostility on that platform has no rivalry the PRESIDENCY Profile adminitrator has a lot to bear with
— Abdul 🇳🇬🇳 (@Abdul_A_Bello) June 13, 2016
When I think about the Nigerian government opening an account on Nairaland, a cow walking innocently into a den of hungry lions comes to mind. It’ll take a miracle for them not to attempt to “engage aggressively” with it. I imagine whoever will be tasked with managing the profile will have an…interesting time.
So, welcome to the Lions’ den, Mr. President. Let me take your udder.