With Chief Dele Momodu, former Presidential Candidate on the platform of Labour Party having 450,000 followers and over 74,000 tweets on his Twitter page; Dr. Reuben Abati, the former Spoke Person for the immediate Past President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan having over 270, 000 followers and 5210 tweets from his Tweeter handle; and the Former Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) 458,000 followers and 1750 tweets, it shows that there is something significant on the platform which many people that are not on the platform are seeing.
The three of them who were guest speakers at the 2015 United Nation International Youth Day organized by RISE Networks tagged “Youth Civic Engagement: The Significant Role of Youth in Politics and Public Life” explained why and how they have been using social media for proper engagement with the and to the development of the country.
In his own story, Chief Momodu said his advent into twitter world started during his presidential ambition in 2011.
“I was in United State and looking for platform which I can used to engage young people, I was introduced to Twitter as the best platform so I engage two young men to do it on my behalf. But when the last election was coming up, I told these young men to teach me how to effectively use it and I got on board and I stated using it, and it became an effective tool for me to engage young people and get my messages to places I can never be in every part of the world”, he said
He said reveal further that he saw his manifestation during the governorship election in Osun, “I was engaging people to know the election situation in their areas and they were replying me from Ikirun, Ilesha, Gbogan and other remote places in the state”
The Ovation Magazine publisher said he also use picture to engage people to get his intentions known to them young people.
In the same vein, the former Presidential spoke person, Dr. Abati narrated his own experience when he was with President Jonathan I found it very useful and effective during my assignment with President Jonathan.
“There was a time President Jonathan wanted to get important information to people in the country when we were travelling to France because we cannot wait till the next day for the traditional media to break the story. He asked me if it is possible, I told him that is possible, we did it and before we got to where we were going the whole thing had gone viral on social media”
He said that the future of communication lies in the direction of social media which young people must use for their advantage.
Governor Fashola who emphasized the importance of social media as an important platform that is important to the development of the world said the platform has given room for anonymity and give people can publish without control which is not in the traditional media.
“I find it uncomfortable to start arguing with someone I don’t know, someone who chose to hide under another person face or name. For me there can’t be exchange of idea with those kinds of people but for people who are confident who can reveal their identity can have exchange of ideas and discuss very serious issues and I know that it can’t get to name calling issue. I don’t play games that have no rules”, he frowned.
Momodu also complained at the unfortunate ways people are using the platforms to attack people.
“It is unfortunate the way people has turn the platform to, some come there to abuse themselves, sometimes they abuse me but I never abuse them back”, he said.