It baffles us why politicians and public agencies–especially unpopular ones–think they can still control their images in the age of social media. Take the New York Police Department’s @NYPDNews account on Twitter to #MyNYPD campaign to solicit members of the public for photos they took with officers. Instead, Twitter users hijacked the hashtag with photos of wrongful arrests and police brutality. There are also occasions when some genius invents a hashtag to mock a politician. Like last week when Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan visited victims of the Abuja bomb blast and managed to strike the same “deeply-concerned-chin-stroking” pose in every single photo.
When he wasn’t doing a crap job of pretending to be concerned for the cameras, Jonathan spent the week of the bombing dancing, no doubt playing Fruit Ninja on one of the golden iPhones handed out to guests at his daughter’s wedding the day before the blast (this was not even his first order of gold iPhones, how many does he need?), and doing precisely nothing to protect Nigerians and resolve the Boko Haram crisis.
Right after the news of the bombing broke, what did Jonathan say to his grief-stricken nation? “We’ll get over it.” Easy to say when you’ve got several gold-plated iPhones to play with. Who is advising this man? Answer: a medium-sized army of highly paid “special advisers”.
The images of Jonathan struggling to feign sympathy for wounded people bleeding in hospital beds confirmed what everyone already knew from Jonathan’s abysmal record in government: he simply doesn’t care about ordinary Nigerians.
It wasn’t long before Nigerians on Twitter mocked their dear leader with the hashtag #GEJPOSE. Below we posted our favorite ones: