I was flipping the newspaper, still pissed at the comments i was getting from Nigerians on my Facebook wall based on a picture of the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Andrew Pocock donating blood in Abuja and the Nigerian President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, at a birthday party in Ibadan, Oyo state just 24hours after the Nyanya bomb blast, when my eyes caught it,… ‘Slacktivism’!
‘Slacktivism’, is a condition we’re all suffering from even though it’s not peculiar to Nigerians. The term, which was coined by Dwight Ozard and Fred Clark in 1995, is a combined word for ‘slacker and activist’. It was coined to deride those who offer online support to causes in order to feel sane or at least assuage their feelings for or against a certain issue without actually doing something constructive about it.
These ‘feel-good’ measures according to +Deola Kayode (punch newspaper) include likes, tweets & re-tweeting for a cause, signing online petitions, changing profile pictures, sharing posts, articles and pictures, in support or not of an issue or social cause, having little or no practical effect other than to make the person doing it gain the satisfaction that they did something or shared their opinion publicly. Ain’t we all guilty?
And back to the cause of my initial annoyance, a back log of activities centering around Aso Rock;
ü Increasingly frequent (mostly unpublicised) boko-haram strikes, massacres actually
ü Kidnapping, abducting, slaughtering of children
ü Fuel scarcity, hoarding & hike in price
ü High GDP, high poverty
ü And the list goes on…
While this is ongoing, some fellows gathered themselves, making a show, in Abuja ‘urging Mr. President’ to run for 2015, ignoring ‘weightier’ matters affecting the populace. They’re even planning a 10-million-man-march to support GEJ. Then a bomb explodes in the city Mr. President lives in…over 87 people dead, over 200 injured. He pays a courtesy visit, shows concern and flies off to a birthday party in another state. How touching!
I complained and some people said;
‘leave the president alone, is he a doctor?’
‘give GEJ a break. He is a Nigerian, not oyibo.’
‘it’s the handiwork of northerners, making the state ungovernable’
‘Are Nigerians willing to donate blood?’
‘maybe these foreigners had pre-knowledge of the attack & are just feigning solidarity’
I shuddered at the responses, the excuses, but wondered if the responses would have been different if you, a governor or even GEJ lost a relative, a spouse, a colleague , a loved one in that bomb-blast. How would you have expected the government to respond? How would you respond if you were the President?
I pray regularly for the president and I expect good news all the time. Perhaps he’s got bad counsellors or too many haters. My grief is that the innocent are suffering for it. Am I supposed to keep quiet in the face of all this menace?
Reading the +punch post made me realise I was a slacktivist, just like most of us. Slacktivism didn’t seem so bad anyway, considering some impact made in this country e.g. #Occupy Nigeria#. However, Mere Slacktivism is what we should dread, ‘all talk, no action’!
Combating mere Slacktivism, i considered running for presidency, senatorial position…perhaps nothing elective, say a ministerial position, an ambassador, a real activist maybe. All i want to achieve is create or help to repair/build a better Nigeria we can all be proud of.
Where do you stand? Your town may be next!