Thursday, October 15, 2015 12:35 pm
Like him or hate him, Bukola Saraki, medical doctor, former banker, former governor of Kwara State and Nigeria’s senate president is fast cutting the image of a modern leader, like Barack Obama or David Cameron, using effectively the communications tools provided by social media platforms, such as FaceBook and Twitter.
It is on Twitter however that Saraki has stirred a huge buzz and made a huge presence.
Though Saraki’s 270,000 followers on twitter are still a far cry from the 64.9 million people that follow Obama @barackobama or the 3.83million that follow Cameron’s @Number10gov , or even the 470,000 following the not so regularly updated Muhammadu Buhari @Mbuhari, there is no doubt that Saraki has mastered the usefulness of the platform and is using it to maximum effect.
He gets feedback regularly on it and tweets back responses.
— Bukola Saraki (@bukolasaraki) October 15, 2015
He breaks news like he just did above announcing the postponement of senate confirmation hearings for ministerial nominees. He makes political statements and offers quick responses to political controversies, such that the news hounds don’t need to knock on his doors for answers to some political issues: just get tuned to his Twitter handle and you will get what you want. Saraki’s tweet, with accompanying photographs, on the submission of President Buhari’s ministerial list on 30 September triggered 2,500 retweets and 324 favorites, with the hashtag #the list. He had generated huge interest on #thelist with previous tweets that the Senate was yet to receive President Buhari’s list on a deadline the President had promised to keep. With Nigerians anxious for news on the president’s nominees, #thelist topped the trend subjects on Twitter in Nigeria on that day of 30 September. On 6 October, when the senate resumed for plenary , Senator Saraki also published the scanned images of the list and the President’s letter, to resolve all the speculations in the media and the confusion about names. On October 12, moments after he received the second list of ministerial nominees from President Buhari, Saraki also broke the news on twitter.
— Bukola Saraki (@bukolasaraki) October 12, 2015
The second list, however, did not enjoy the same bounce like the older #thelist.
Only the governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, with 666,000 followers on Twitter uses the social media as a tool of communication with Nigerians and his people. El-Rufai had embraced Twitter in 2009 and had used it effectively during the electioneering campaign to broach many issues.