A number of researches on the level of civic engagement in Nigeria have been conducted recently. Some of these researches point to the fact that Nigerians have not been properly engaged on issues and needs of national importance since 1999, the year the country returned to democratic governance. Where the concerned stakeholders adopted some of the recommendations of the researchers, the outcomes have been a proliferation of channels of communication and message overload to the public.
In the current piece, our analyst found that two indigenes of Osun State recently conversed on how civic engagement in the state should be executed on the virtual sphere. Ajetunmobi Umar Olansile and Sogo Omo Osun discussed some issues within the context of the virtual public lecture organised by the state government to mark the 29th anniversary of the state creation.
Ajetunmobi Umar Olansile: Osun Government media team, what’s happening? A virtual public lecture held, but little did we hear about it ; after all, it’s a VIRTUAL PUBLIC LECTURE to mark Osun at 29! What made it virtual and public then?
In this era of digital glocalisation, I don’t think government policies can be popular and widely accepted if the policies aren’t communicated to the right people, using integration of media. Relying on traditional media alone for policy communication in this era is like drumming to the ears of the deaf- this is the time of media convergence. You can’t do without the youth! Where can they be found? On digital platforms!
My background checks (pictures attached) revealed that on Twitter, the Governor’s handle (or perhaps one of) had less than 10 comments when the video of the lecture was posted. Less than 10 comments in over 8 hours of the post? No engagement! Two, the Government of Osun handle was updated in the last 5 days! Who are the handlers? Are they promoting the government for free? No engagement! Three, the Facebook video on the Governor’s page generated a number of comments unlike what was observed on Twitter.
Something is amiss. A common trend wasn’t observed on behalf of the government on Twitter! There are people who understand the science and the arts of Twitter trends. Where are they, dear media team? What does it take to have trends on Twitter? Some people may ask: Does that translate to good governance? We aren’t saying it does- it’s a win-win argument. However, practical experiments have shown that effective open governance opens door for transparency and engaged citizenry.
Recommendations? In 2019, a team of researchers had recommended what the government needs to do. The recommendations are available here for download and evaluation. We wish the government well.
Sogo Omo Osun: Mr. Rasheed Adebiyi for calling my attention to respond to the publisher. Firstly, I want the publisher of this post to understand what new media engagement entails and audience consideration while using a new media platform as an interactive medium to engage the audience or a community of influencers, Osun is a Facebook community, I mean the majority of the active users of social media apps in osun are Facebook crusaders, so we concentrate more on the result of our feasibility studies.
Yes, we recorded little patronage on Twitter according to the man who projected this, but we had great and massive audience tweet and retweet from all axis, if I am not wrong, I doubt if the publisher considered the target of our message and the essence of hosting the public lecture, concluding that a trend on government handle expresses the level of participation is a statement colored with an agenda or an interest. Though the publisher might not understand the basic essence of our concentration on Facebook than another medium, he might not have carried out research to decode that many of our influencers in Ipinle Omoluabi are indigenous that uses Facebook because of the easy operating system and format.
According to the publisher’s third paragraph, he claimed Mr. Governor’s handle suffered patronage in the cause of the live streaming but unfortunately his data about the engagement of the handle lacks integrity and objectivity, I will upload a screenshot of the ratio of viewers flow in and out of the streaming, in other to castigate his opinion about the level of activeness and credibility of Mr. Governors media team members. Meanwhile, my reaction to this interest cooked paragraphs of the critic is strictly mine, not to be attached to any other source.
I can boldly tell you that the event was a success, the massive campaign, and publicity given to the event before, during and after the event is overwhelming, this alone depict the massive turnout of osun indigenes home and abroad level of participation which has alone recommended good character and brilliancy of the players involved. In conclusion, no wonders of the past can be better than the living miracle of today. I leave the rest for the good people of Osun to react while we prepare for more tasks ahead.
Finally, I want the publisher to provide his Twitter handle to verify his numbers of followers, if more than 5,000 followers, I will accept his claims but if not, it’s clear that our state is a community of Facebook customers. By and large, many improvements can still be made in our subsequent outing, we are in for improvement if only it is objectively delivered.
Ajetunmobi Umar Olansile: I am sure you are aware that the 24k followers the Osun Government has on Twitter are not alien to Osun and her governance. Are you saying the 24k followers are not active users of Twitter? What demography do you say are active users among these followers?
Sogo Omo Osun: Don’t mix things up bro, I have no business with the state government of Osun’s handle, apology. I am interested in the handle of his excellency, I don’t speak for the government, my capacity is restricted to the office of the governor. So, whatever we will discuss should be concentrated within our scope of work. Why I actually reacted was because I took part as a technical support staff for the lecture.
Sogo Omo Osun: Meanwhile, the level of patronage of the handle should give you an insight that osun is a Facebook community, please compare their Facebook handle with the Twitter handle.
Ajetunmobi Umar Olansile: 2. The post below was posted not long after the Facebook post here was posted. What went amiss initially?
Sogo Omo Osun: The handle has been existing since 2013 and all the handle can get is just 24k followers? If 90% of the followers of the handle are from Osun, statistically the patronage would be more than this, don’t forget, proximity is a key factor to be considered in a news story, trust me whoever that is not from Osun will not react or retweet, because they share no interest in the happenings in the state, I hope you can understand me.
Ajetunmobi Umar Olansile: 3. Governor’s handle has 33k followers. Who are they? Are there not up to half Osun active members on this handle? Why just one video? Couldn’t the team have a thread of his discussions? How many people would watch the video? Can you see the number of comments on the video? 8? For a whole Governor of a state? Is that a pass for a policy-driven lecture? The publisher is not your opponent. He is only calling your attention to media integration and the need for convergence! Check Twitter handles of some Governors, and see how matters like this are discussed.
Ajetunmobi Umar Olansile: If Osun is a Facebook community, the media team made it so. If Osun is a Facebook community, why opening a Twitter account for the Governor? Who will he be tweeting for? Non-indigenes? It’s even a big indictment to say, without data, that Osun is a Facebook community. The 33k followers the Governor has on Twitter aren’t there for freelancing. They want to be engaged! The media team doesn’t engage them. That’s why it’s seen as if Osun is a Facebook community! There’s no harm in doing more. For now, Mr Governor’s Twitter community cries for engagement.
Sogo Omo Osun: I discuss to derive knowledge, I hold no grudges for expressing your opinion, it’s a free world. With the 33k followers, that alone should convince you further of my explanation so far, check Sanwo Olu, Dapo Abiodun including Seyi makinde’s handle, you will discover that they enjoy much participant than their Facebook pages, why, the 3 state studies show that their influencers are much active on Twitter than other apps. Check Ondo and Ekiti, verify their tweets and you will discover the focus of my discussion. It’s good we are discussing, from our conversation, ideas can be birth, so I don’t take offense in your observations.As a government staff, it is our responsibility to defend, inform, react, and correct insinuations when necessary while we also gatekeep with the mission to pass feedback to the appropriate desk.
Sogo Omo Osun: I am happy to inform you that what is indigenous can never be digitalized within a twinkle of an eye. We do more than engaging, we act when necessary, but funny enough, many don’t even patronize the app. If I may ask, don’t you have an Instagram handle? Do you stay on the app like others, so, why did you open the app? The same response you give will answer your question of why twitter handle was registered for Mr governor..
Ajetunmobi Umar Olansile: Sogo Omo Osun, the summary of the discussion is: The media team needs to do more. The states you mentioned didn’t start getting engagement in a day. They started from somewhere. The tweet you said enjoyed wide retweet had less than 40 retweets and less than 100 likes. Such an algorithm isn’t effective enough for policy communication. There are recommendations on your fingertip. Get the technical report I attached to my first post, and see how there can be a better process in Osun media engagement. If you have it already, you can find time to evaluate it. I have no grudges against the media team, neither do I have against the government. We are only canvassing a better process.
Sogo Omo Osun: Meanwhile, can I ask, do you follow other governors’ handles on Twitter? If yes, you are one of the 33k followers that will not react but follows the handle just because of the personality involved. I am a follower of more than 30 Governors handle but I don’t react to their tweet because I am not interested in their activities, so I am one of their high rated followers with figures but with no single engagement.As for the recommendations, please kindly inform the concerned to choose an appropriate medium to market what they can offer the government in other to enjoy patronage rather than rubbishing the effort of others.
Ajetunmobi Umar Olansile: Sogo Omo Osun, no one is rubbishing your efforts. After all, you aren’t doing it for free. You are a consultant giving services. Pointing out areas to improve does not mean anybody desires government’s patronage. Far from it! Your attention was only drawn to the needful as one of the government’s consultants. The Governor is a prominent person in terms of news value. He discussed about illegal mining of gold in Osun in his lecture. That is an issue of national significance considering that the Federal Government is now talking about gold. Isn’t that worthy of wider coverage. Why should a media team wait for long to give us highpoints of the event (that’s not a discussion for now).
You are talking about other governors. Yes, they enjoy followership because their media teams are doing something behind the scene. On new media, followership goes beyond statehood. Your team works for the government as his PR agent using every available medium to portray him beyond his imagination. Have you ever seen people from other states comment on the posts of those governors you follow? Why are they commenting? The contents pushed out are engaging. For your information, getting insights from constructive critics is a ladder to improvement. Osun media landscape can do better than these.