Since the President posted his first update, he has shown that he can relate with the Nigerian people “without the trappings of office”.
“When I created this profile on June 28th, 2010, I had the intention of bypassing the protocol that surrounds me and communicating directly with the Nigerian people”, said President Jonathan on Monday. “And I have dutifully done this consistently and this has been probably one of the most rewarding experiences in my life as a public servant because I am now able to know what the Nigerian people think on any given issue.”
The President claims that over the past months, he has taken his Facebook ‘friends’ comments into account in decisions he has taken concerning national football, security, economic policy and foreign affairs.
In his Facebook note published today titled: “Half A Million Reasons To Listen To You”, Jonathan said:
“Today, over half a million Nigerians are friends of mine on this profile. Nothing could bring me more joy particularly as my friends cut across every nook and cranny of this great country and every strata of society. From all of you on this page I draw inspiration and get ideas that help me govern better and love Nigeria more.”
The President is talking…but who is listening?
No doubt, most of the President’s Facebook updates attract a minimum of 3,000 comments and 1,000 likes.
But that’s just about 0.008% of his total Facebook fans that are listening.
Granted, 500,000 fans is a huge number, but only about 4000 of these respond to his updates. Worse yet, most of the comments have been negative and critical, questioning the Presidents’ intentions and integrity.
There are also indications that over 60% of his total Facebook fans are youths (within the ages of 18 – 35), although these are speculations.
If this is correct, that means that over 300,000 youths like President Jonathan on Facebook.
But do they really like him as their future President, or they simply follow him as a Facebook personality?
The answer lies within the mixed reactions his Facebook updates and notes (See the note titled: The Core of Who I Am) have stirred in recent times.
But whether or not they listen, President Jonathan seems determined to keep listening to the comments and questions of his ‘friends’, as he describes his Facebook fans.
He has already made history by becoming the first Presidential candidate in the world to declare his intention to contest using a new media channel such as Facebook.
Little wonder, Jonathan recently won the Sowambe Awards for Best Use of Facebook (Personal Brand).
Jonathan has also become the second most popular President in the world on Facebook, just after U.S President Barack Obama.
If he wins the April 2011 Presidential elections, will Jonathan open the activities at the Aso Rock to the online public via new media channels like Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and Youtube, just like President Obama has done with the White House?
Will he meet with Nigeria’s technology business founders to discuss ways of driving the technology ecosystem development in Nigeria?
Will he really transform Nigeria?