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14.04.2014 Feature Article

National Conference: Amplifying The Nigerians Voices On Social Media

National Conference: Amplifying The Nigerians Voices On Social Media
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Nigerians have waited so long for this moment. Now it is a reality. Light has dawned on the agitation for the convocation of a national conference to address the various issues affecting the Nigerian polity. The voices of the people are now being heard as their representatives sit to discuss their differences after years of agitation.

This national conference has come at the right time as our nation faces numerous challenges from all fronts. This conference is a fitting avenue to identify and proffer lasting solutions to all the challenges confronting this nation. The president seemed to have proved sceptics wrong with his inaugural speech which has been well accepted by delegates and termed as one of the greatest speeches that any Nigerian leader has delivered.

The president emphasised in his inaugural speech that he has no hidden agenda in convening this conference. I'm pleased to hear that the president has no hidden agenda. The Achilles' heel of this kind of exercise that has been held in time past is the hidden agenda of those that convened it. When there are hidden motives, delegates are constituted along the agenda of the convener and the voices of reason are stifled.

I am glad that delegates in this particular conference are given the leeway to freely generate their issues and agenda for discussion.

At the same time, Nigerians observing by the side-line are also given the opportunity to follow the proceedings and add their own two cents to the process of making the conference a success and Nigeria a great nation. Although the conference started on a stormy note on the issue of voting pattern to be adopted, it is noteworthy that the wisdom of the leadership of the conference came handy to diffuse the tension by reaching an acceptable voting formula which was accepted by majority of the delegates.

It is also gratifying to know that the leadership and secretariat of the conference have deemed it fit to give Nigerians daily updates on conference proceedings through different social media platforms. Apart from the news media where we get updates, I also monitor and follow conference proceedings on the official twitter handle, @NGConfab2014 whilst getting a holistic grasp of things with the hashtag #NGConfab.

Even the conference official Facebook page has been enriched with informative posts like Quotes from the conference, Daily Roundups, Press Releases, Order Paper posts, Breaking News from the conference, Media mentions of the conference across different platforms, etc.

These posts and updates have given Nigerians the opportunity to air their views and talk back to their representatives at the Confab. Some of the comments and feedback of Nigerians on the social media platforms show that Nigerians are interested in seeing the conference succeed.

Nigerians on the social media are setting their agenda and making their voices heard. Here are some of the agenda that are being set on the social media platforms for delegates at the national conference:

Prince Ureyin wrote:
I will suggest a bill be passed that will allow our constitution to be part of our secondary school curriculum. To be taught as a subject of its own. Whose purpose is to teach students citizenship; their right, their duties and their obligation as citizens. It should be made as important as mathematics and English if not more important than them. This will help give Nigerians a sense of citizenship. It will also help reduce corruption and crime. And most of all it will also help bring power back to the people. Since knowledge they say is power.

Prince Ajibola Mathew Adeniyi wrote:
With due respect sir, I hereby draw the attention of all the delegates of the national confab, to look into the issues of local government autonomy/independent of local government from state government, to immunity clause must remove totally.

Haaga William wrote:
I stand on the existing protocol. I'm appealing to you to delegate to consider the issue of primary Education in the country. One the governors are finding difficult to fund the primary education. 2 they are finding difficult to pay primary school teachers even though FG have been playing its part. 3 the falling standard of education. Is as a result of poor primary school system, incessant strikes eg In Benue state the primary school teachers has been on strike for the past five months, they have not seen any kobo for the said months, the pupils have not seen the classroom for this period so how can such teachers teach effectively? And how can such pupils excel in their exams? The said problem is not to Benue state. So if this administration what to consider common man something should be done. Is not everybody that can afford nursery school fee charge in private institutions.

Samuel Ude wrote:
Education should be on top of their table as one issue that must be discussed. Please hence corruption is not a tribe or religion in Nigeria, our delegate should make sure that corruption in Nigeria is total eliminated as this will enhance development.

Adekanye Funso wrote:
The secularity of the Nigerian state must be emphasized in the new constitution; Governments at all levels MUST cease sponsoring Christian and Muslim Pilgrimages. Religion is a personal affair and whosoever wanted a trip to the holy lands must fund it. If this inequitable practice is not stopped, a day is coming the so many traditional religionists in Nigeria shall start demanding for sponsorship. It will be great as well to go back to Regionalism and Parliamentary political system and above all let fiscal federalism reign.

The secretariat of the national conference has done the right thing in providing an interactive and viable social media platforms for the conference. Nigerians are speaking. It is now left for the delegates and the leadership of the conference to pay attention to the voices of Nigerians on these platforms and not just open the platforms for opening sake.

Abdullahi M. Seidu
Abdullahi M. Seidu, © 2014

The author has 7 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: AbdullahiMSeidu

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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