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Frankly Speaking With Jola Sotubo Aisha Buhari’s Twitter scandal is a lesson to Nigerian officials

Mrs Buhari’s official handle, on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, tweeted at Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose calling him an ‘unchained mad dog’.

  • Published:

Aisha Buhari’s communications team has made a serious blunder, and the First Lady might never recover from it.

Mrs Buhari’s official handle, on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, tweeted at Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose calling him an ‘unchained mad dog’.

Unchained Mad Dog tweet play

Screen shot of Aisha Buhari's "Mad Dog" tweets

 

Fayose had accused the First Lady of participating in a 2009 bribery scandal which involved US Congressman, William Jefferson.

“Even the President cannot claim to be an angel. The estate he built in Abuja is known to us. His wife was indicted over the Halliburton Scandal,” Fayose said via a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, after the governor’s account was frozen by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state play

Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state

(20Read)

 

“When that American, Jefferson, was being sentenced, the President’s wife was mentioned as having wired $170,000 to Jefferson. Her name was on page 25 of the sentencing of Jefferson. We can serialize the judgment for people to see and read,” the statement added.

The truth however came out when former EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde said that the Aisha Buhari in that case was a different person entirely.

“I can tell you authoritatively that the Aisha Buhari named in that case is not President Buhari's wife. It is another Aisha Buhari entirely,” Lamorde said on Tuesday.

Former EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde play

Former EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde

(Twitter)

 

The Presidency also issued an official statement dismissing the reports and describing Fayose as a man “childishly obsessed with the desire to grab the headlines and insulting people at will because of his incurably boorish instincts.”

Therefore, Nigerians were unprepared for the rude shock they got when the “mad dog” comment was tweeted from Mrs Buhari’s official and verified handle.

The nationwide surprise was made even more intense by the fact that Mrs Buhari is a classy lady and such words would never leave her mouth even if they, for some reason, entered her head.

And indeed, the words did not enter the First Lady’s head or leave her mouth, but they entered the head of the person handling her Twitter account, and this person, against all reason, went ahead to tweet the comment, which will be remembered for all time.

However, nobody is talking about the person who sent the tweet, they are all talking about the First Lady, because it’s the First Lady’s name that’s is on that tweet, and her picture that is attached to the account, so for all intents and purposes, Mrs Buhari said those words.

The entire scenario is a lesson on why public officials should hire professionals to handle their communications. The digital world is not a place for costly mistakes, like this one, because such mistakes will be on record for all time.

In these changing times, public officials can choose from a wide array of social media managers, online reputation managers and digital media experts to work with, but most of them prefer to operate by sentiment and hire their cousins.

Hopefully, this debacle with Aisha Buhari’s handle will teach officials who are willing to learn that dealing with professionals is always better than dealing with amateurs.

As Red Adair said, “If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

Did Aisha Buhari actually call Fayose a mad dog?»

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