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Why Shehu Sani prefers to be funny on social media — everyone else is angry

Shehu Sani suggests more lawmakers need to know how to navigate social media.

Senator Shehu Sani. [Facebook/Getty Images]

In a recent interview with Pulse, the ex-lawmaker revealed that his flair for social media and how he engages with the audience was one he inherited from his family.

He said he grew up in a media family and understands the uses and gratification of media.

The 56-year-old labelled social media as the most accessible communication tool for good governance if adequately used.

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He said, "I come from a media family because my father was in the media industry. With the advent of social media and information technology, social media became the most potent platform that allows citizens to express their opinions and hold their governments to account. So, as far as I'm concerned, I believe that is a tool for good governance, but it can also be abused.

"There are people who are on social media to be informed, to send missiles to others, or to spy on other people. So my style, particularly on Twitter is how I can use that tool to either send a message or tell the truth to power in a manner that everyone will be happy.

"Everyone can go to social media to insult, attack, criticise and raise issues angrily. But what I do is to dilute it in such a way that people will laugh and joke about it."

When asked about his trademark use of comical and witty sentences to convey serious messages on social media, he said, "I soften certain messages that are serious using comical text that will make it more interesting for readers and the message can be delivered without anger. How do I tell the president that the naira is not floating? Rather than condemning the president that his economic policies are not working, I can simply say it appears the naira needs life support or it needs a lifeboat, something that will keep it afloat.

"I do it in such a way that it also gets the interest of the younger generation who are mostly in the social media space. So I don't believe that social media space is a place where people should always be angry with everyone, but it appears it is toxic."

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He also told Pulse that during his time in the Senate, he discovered that 90% of the lawmakers in the red chamber did not know how to navigate their social media handles. The ex-lawmaker said the social media handles of these lawmakers are being contracted to be handled by their aides.

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