By Loy Okezie
When President Goodluck Jonathan announced that he would create a Facebook page in order to interact with Nigerians, it became evident that his personal meeting with President Barack Obama earlier in April may have inspired his decision to join the world’s largest social networking site.
It is no doubt that the U.S President effectively used social media tools such as Facebook, which resulted in a successful election campaign and gave him a landslide victory in the 2008 Presidential elections. Today, he currently has over 10 million fans on Facebook.
On July 9, President Jonathan hit the 100, 000 Facebook fans milestone. At the time of writing this he has over 130,000 fans on Facebook and is officially the most popular Nigerian celebrity on Facebook.
Since Monday, June 28 when the President posted his first update to date, he has shown that he can relate with the Nigerian people “without the trappings of office”.
In his first update on his page, he wrote:
Today, in fulfillment of the promise I made at the 26th convocation of the University of Port Harcourt on Saturday, 15 May 2010, I have created a facebook fan page to interact with Nigerians. As I said on that day, there is an unchallengeable power of good in the Nigerian nation and her youth and through this medium I want Nigerians to give me the privilege of relating with them without the trappings of office.
But the big question is: Will President Jonathan become the Most Popular Celebrity Leader?
In the words of Chukwudi Ezeagwa (a.k.a Shakar El Swagger) a Nigerian songwriter and performer based in the UK,
A true leader must be a celebrity, if we cannot celebrate you – it means that we don’t like you; it means that we don’t want to see you; it means that you don’t appeal to your people. Take for example in the music world, we have so many artistes but we only celebrate a few of this people because of their unique music and rare personality. We either fall in love with their music or their style even some of us go as far as stalking them, trying to take pictures of them and also idolise them.
Is President Jonathan on his way to becoming the most popular celebrity in Nigeria?
Only time will tell.
Loy Okezie is a digital marketing strategist and start-up analyst based in Lagos. He regularly writes about companies and their use of new and emerging technologies in both local and international blogs, websites and newspapers. You can follow him on Twitter.
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This article was first published on 21st July 2010 and updated on March 22nd, 2012 at 12:36 pm