State & Society: To Masari Social Media Defence Line -By Baba Bala Katsina

 

Following Masari poor Bariki outing, at which he spat fire on Katsina people and also intentionally, in the course of his speech, called social media enthusiasts a bunch of jobless youth, the Social Media Community, all throughout the Sallah period, reacted most furiously like never before. Of course, as expected, from the governor’s social media aide to those who take it upon themselves to defend anything Masari, there were counter reactions which resulted to emerging or coming into view in the community of three  groups guided by different ideologies.

 

a)  there is a group of people, as said above, comprise the governor’s media aides and APC apologists, who together we describe here as MASARI SOCIAL MEDIA DEFENCE LINE. For this group, whatever the governor does must be cheered and appreciated. Any slight critique of his moves is considered treason, and the writers, enemies. b) there is the opposition,  the PDPists, whose duty as it supposed to be, is to oppose anything this government does constructively and otherwise in favour of their party. c) There is also we, whose concern is good governance and how well the system works for the good of all Katsina people regardless of who is the governor and what his sympathisers feel.

 

The first group considers us all, together with the second group, as enemies of progress; who are out to paint black the image of this administration. To counter us, some strategic meetings are on going to increase the number of people helping the office of the S.A New Media to consolidate the defence of the government’s (in)actions, since there are no policies yet, and possibly attack the recalcitrant youth. It’s a thick battle line they have drawn. Though some of us are not ready, but I write to inform the Defence Line that; is a war they are out to lose whichever way.

 

While the general public always use logic to argue Government’s policies and actions, the administration’s media team cannot risk do same. They have to argue with facts since at their disposal are fact and figures that are not in most public hands. For example; the public would question why the governor always emphasises that there is no enough money to run the system while he has nothing to show with the little he has been getting? We see him, they would say further, and other government officials living a life larger than their earnings. So logical. Isn’t it? If the media team for example said the administration only bought eight cars: one for the office of the governor, second for his deputy and the third and the rest for speaker and the state assembly principal officers, the public will go further to ask that they have been seeing some of the one-in-town-cars being bought by the government in private hands and are believed to be given out to the individuals by the government. The media team has to stop there. The public have won. If the team goes on to argue, it has now become a moral question and the team cannot dare go to that area else it scores an own-goal. In this fight one will find the first and the second group locked heads.

 

The media team heeding to the above advice is a trap. Once they begin to argue with fact and figures they then become vulnerable from the third group. They will use the information disclosed to make a case because in this group you more or less disarm them when they have no such kind of information, even though is easy for them to excess nonetheless. They have reputation to protect so they can’t publish lies in support of their arguments. But once they have the information they need they will consolidate their points and pose even a more serious challenge than the above, and there will be confusion manning the defence line.

 

For example; this group didn’t know that the ongoing schools and hospitals renovations that the government is only boasting of so far are a partnership. But when the information became available to them it strengthens their theory of lack of financial discipline and management in the administration. Because, before this information, they halfway believed that the administration could spend the whole lot over N100bn in a year justifiably but when they got this piece of information they now demand more explanation: that it’s ridiculous for an administration to spend over N100bn and yet couldn’t pay even salaries. At this point the media team has to surrender because the further it goes, the confusion it will cause the government. It will make either the SSG or the governor himself to come public and clarify the point and likelihood of repeating the Bariki outing is just 90% if it’s the governor that will do it.

 

The more arguments group two and three advanced the deeper the public perception of the administration sits in public’s minds since public perception of the administration, though redeemable for now, has almost reached an controllable  level. Along this line, media team will be forced to be on the defensive and since more challenge will be coming from the second group, the team will concentrate on washing the image of Masari while leaving the activities of governance vulnerable for the third group to feast on.

 

At this juncture there will be change of permutation from the defence line. Some will be reacting to the second group and the rest to the third group since to them is the most sophisticated. In this change of formation those who will have it tough are those who will be marking the third group. While the group uses theories to interpret government’s decisions and actions, the Defence Line has to contend with practical practice of their principals; whether done rightly or wrongly. Theories are by far more flexible and appealing, remember?

In it all, the media team has two issues to deal with: public perception of Masari and his art of governance. While on the former the team is already on the defensive, the second group will be using the third group’s analysis output on the latter to launch even a more fierce attack. To concede defeat the team will swap formation: the wingers will become forward attackers and the Midfielders will now form the central defence. Masari as the goal keeper will have to struggle with strong shots coming directly from all directions, and before he could say ‘Monita’, in every three shots, it’s a goal.

 

Though the team considers only Facebook to mean social media with perhaps little presence on Twitter, the last group have wider grasp of what social media entails. They can take it down to even people that don’t subscribe to any of the known platforms. And if the media team follows suit then it brings much information of governance to Mai Chefanes hence will have a spacious information management to deal with than if it’s only on Facebook.

There is no more difficult a job to handle than managing an administration’s image in the third world; where governance exists only in the books.

Finally, for His Excellency’s information, in the social media he so much hate, there are people more qualified to be governors than him. He is there by chance. He admits it on Bariki Day to our hearing. ALLAH RAYAN JAHAR KATSINA.

 

Baba-Bala Katsina

bababalakt@gmail.com

Twitter Handle : @BabaBala5

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