Two top government officials got into the news for all the wrong reasons last week. Exactly what the Doctor didn't recommend
Last week was supposed to be the week when we celebrated Mark Zuckerberg and the impending tech boon in Nigeria.
But Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, apparently had other ideas.
First, Adeosun, the smooth talking minister was quoted by her twitter handle as saying: “recession is just a word”.
“The strongest of all warriors are these two, time and patience. I know people are concerned about the recession. Recession is a word,” the tweet read.
Thousands of Nigerians feeling the pangs of ‘Buharinomics’ in their pockets, understandably begged to disagree and harassed Adeosun via the twitter account.
As the backlash intensified, Adeosun and her team did what they shouldn’t have done: they disowned the twitter account and the tweet was hurriedly deleted.
“The Twitter handle, @Mrskemiadeosun, does not belong to the Honourable Minister of Finance. At no point did she make that kind of statement in her interaction with the media after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday. The fake handle does not belong to her,” Festus Akanbi, spokesman for Mrs. Adeosun, fired off to the press and the baying mob.
It is worth noting that the disowned twitter account had been used in Adeosun’s name in the past and had come in handy in conveying relevant information to Nigerians.
Heck, the president’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, had copiously mentioned and quoted Adeosun with the same twitter handle not too long ago.
If the twitter handle was a fake, why will the presidency even make copious reference to it? Isn’t there a simple enough system for vetting social media accounts belonging to government officials at the highest level of administrative power in Nigeria?
As Team Adeosun scampered to save face, a video soon surfaced online starring the minister in her own words.
It was a different occasion, but one in which Adeosun, in trying to explain why Nigeria should diversify her economy, did refer to recession as a word.
“So, yes, we’re borrowing. We need to borrow because we cannot wait for the oil prices to recover. We have to invest in this large infrastructure projects that are needed to unlock the competitiveness in our economy and create jobs for our people. That’s the objective of this government and that’s what we’re working towards. I’m also extremely confident that we would get there.
“The one thing Nigerians have in abundance is probably our greatest intangible asset and the spirit of the Nigerian people. The entrepreneurship of the Nigerian people. And their hard work. If we can combine those with an enabling environment created by government, I believe this economy can turn around.
“I know people are concerned about recession. Recession is a word. We can come out of recession. We can make sure it’s as short as possible by sticking to the prescription which is; we must be disciplined with our expenditure, we must invest in capital and we must diversify our economy,” Adeosun said in the video that was shared numerous times on Twitter this week until it assumed a life of its own.
The 'cockneyed' minister was thereafter left with plenty of eggs on her face.
As the blowback from the Adeosun faux pas was simmering, Dabiri was cooking up one of hers.
Facebook Founder, Zuckerberg, was in Nigeria and yes, Dabiri had met with him at the Villa alongside the President, his Vice and other top government officials.
“Met Mark Zuckerberg today, I asked what he is doing to make it more difficult to clone people's identity’s on FB. Cos I have 11 fake Facebook accounts opened in my name and he said, would be looked into immediately”, Dabiri tweeted profusely.
While nothing is wrong with complaining about numerous Facebook accounts in your own name to the founder in the flesh, it is still open to debate whether a top government personnel should consider her cloned accounts worthy of the public’s time at a time we should all be talking about bringing badly needed investments to Nigeria in a time of economic recession.
Dabiri was surprised that she got berated on Twitter for her comments.
“But what is even wrong with complaining about multiple identity and solutions on FB to the founder”, she would later tweet.
What is wrong Ma’am is that as one of the president’s top advisers, meeting the 6 richest man in the world and what concerns you the most as you make small talk with him are your cloned accounts, was soooo off!
Shouldn’t the subject of cloned accounts have been handled by a tech team at the presidency? Why would a Zuckerberg be bothered anyway, about the cloned accounts of someone in Nigeria when he’s got bigger fish to fry on his plate?
Like they say, discretion is need.
Top government officials should be held to certain standards by the rest of society and the public was understandably outraged because last week, Adeosun and Dabiri dropped the ball.
Yes, they played themselves. Badly.