The Positive Agenda Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation with the special interest in using evidence-based messages for open and good governance promotion, said the use of many social media accounts by the media team of the government and governor, Alhaji Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola, is creating confusion among the public.
This was contained in a released signed by the Team Lead, Research and Public Engagement, Umar Olansile Ajetunmobi. The release is reproduced below:
“In a new flash analysis released by PAN on Monday 16th March, 2020, it was revealed that the state government’s activities are now being promoted on 18 different Facebook accounts and 3 Twitter handles, all claiming to serve as mouthpieces of Mr Governor. This is contrary to what we found out in our 2019 report- Changing Civic Engagement: Creating Better Processes for a Broad, Balanced and Connected Public Communication in Osun State.
Part of the flash report notes, “In their bid of promoting the governor’s and government’s activities, we believe the media team created Facebook accounts for the State Government. With this, our expectation is that the Chief Press Secretary and the Ministry of Information and Civic
Engagement should work collaboratively in devising the right accounts and handles. Our expectation was not met as analysis reveals different official pages for the State. We found accounts that bear Government of the State of Osun, State Government of Osun, Ministry of Information and Civic Orientation, From The Office of the CPS, Osun State, Osun State, Nigeria, Osun State [email protected], Osun Min. of information & Strategy and State of Osun, Nigeria.”
Our insight indicates that using multiple social media accounts will erode the intention behind strategic and engaging open governance in Osun. Information from these proliferated accounts will not only create more confusion in the minds of the citizens, as there are possibilities of ‘information dysentery’ from the accounts, but will also leave room for impersonation and identity theft common to/in the digital era.
Therefore, we implore the media team to stick to Adegboyega Oyetola, an official page with a total number of 28,401 likes and 28, 896 followers as at March 13 and Osun State, Nigeria, another official page, with a total number of 28, 599 likes and 28, 111 followers. However, it is necessary to make these two pages verified as it is global standard practice. This is imperative, considering the significant level of social proof the pages have had.” Verification of these accounts is also sacrosanct, as that is the feasible solution that can control creation of parody and proliferated accounts.