Are Nigerians online bullies or just too patriotic?

Nigerians are a mob when you come after their own on social media.

Take the case of Argentinian defender Nicolas Otamendi who got a barrage of hate messages on his Instagram account.

What was his offence? For shoving football wonder boy Kelechi Iheanacho during the Super Eagles friendly against Argentina.

Hey, some of us might tweet about Iheanacho’s deficiencies weekly but no one has the right to treat any of our countrymen bad or wrong. This is the everyday Nigerian mentality. We can abuse our own but you dare not diss us or else...

The Twitter community in Ghana learnt this the hard way during the 2012 Olympics. The Nigerian basketball team D’Tigers had been beaten silly by the Dream Team of the United States. It was a record defeat.

At first, Nigerians mocked the D’Tigers but when a stray Ghanaian took some shots at the basketball team, a West African Twitter war commenced.

It was an unfair fight, to be honest. The number of Nigerians on Twitter surpassed the Ghanaians. And when it comes to insults don’t mess with Nigerians.

So, on that fateful day, Ghanaians learnt the hard way that only Nigerians can diss Nigerians. Trust Twitter NG to tweet ‘dark things’ about our West African brothers.

A recent example is Ghanaian (again?) act Shatta Wale. For some reason, he felt that Wizkid was an artist he could diss on social media.

Sooner than later Nigerians bashed him online for talking bad about one of the country’s favourite sons.

The bottom line is that you don’t want to mess with Nigerians. Yes, we know our country is it perfect and Wizkid has issues with lyrics but no one can diss us or our countrymen.

It’s a twisted version of hometown pride. We might not be the most patriotic people on Earth but if you come at us, we will come at you with more energy.

On the flip side, this can be bullying. Take the case of American singer Justine Skye who had a ‘situationship’ with Wizkid (again?!) for a few months.

Whatever the two singers had, it is most likely over but trust Nigerians to be a bit extra. Justine Skye could tweet about cookies and there would be bare Nigerians telling her mentions to stop subbing Wizkid.

The beautiful singer had to say that her tweets have nothing to do with Wizkid who she sees as just a friend. Her statement has done little to chase away the mob.

Nigerians on social media have a twisted sense of hometown pride. We can bash ourselves all day long but when a foreigner does it, it becomes a case of us versus and them. And usually, Nigerians don’t lose these type of battles.

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