By Farooq Kperogi
Buhari’s inept Twitter ban in Nigeria is actually only amplifying anti-Buhari rhetoric on an unexampled scale globally. Because millions of Nigerians circumvent the ban through VPNs, which use mostly US and UK IP addresses, anti-Buhari memes and themes are now dominating US and UK Twitter trends, which is in turn inviting deservedly critical foreign media coverage of the regime.
Journalists in the West use trends on Twitter to report on the news. In all the years I’ve lived in the US, I’ve never seen any Nigerian government that has consistently received negative coverage from the US media as Buhari’s regime has in the past few days.
People in the UK report the same negative news coverage of the regime in the British press.
And this is all thanks to anti-Buhari US and UK Twitter trends, which used to be restricted to Nigerian trends when Twitter wasn’t banned in Nigeria and Nigerians had no need to use VPN to tweet.
And this is a regime that prizes positive global media so much that the only interviews Buhari granted to journalists without being coaxed are to foreign journalists on foreign soil.
Recall, too, that a September 20, 2018 Premium Times investigation found that Justice Minister Abubakar Malami “hired two American lobbying and public relations firms to plant opinion articles favourable to the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in American newspapers.”
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