Social Media

Michelle Obama’s social media activism cost Nigeria’s ex-President Jonathan his 2015 re-election?

In case you haven’t read about it or heard about it. Nigeria’s former President, Goodluck Jonathan released a new book titled My Transition Hours. It’s an interesting book if you want to look at both local and international politics from ex-President Jonathan’s eyes.

However, Jonathan makes our social media feature because of the allegation he has against former US President Barack Obama; more specifically his wife, Michelle Obama. Now, we all know the news coming out of Nigeria during Jonathan’s time was often about the Islamic terror group the Boko Haram.

This terror group was killing innocent civilians in their hundreds, abducting innocent women and child, and forcing them into early (forced) marriages. They detested anything related to the ‘West’ and that meant the girl-child empowerment mentality was a big no, as the girl’s place was to make and/or feed the babies.

So there is this group of 276 girls they kidnapped from Chibok, which sparked a social media campaign from Nigeria to all the way across the world. And the then FLOTUS, Mrs. Michelle Obama weighed in on the campaign. Apparently, that act by FLOTUS was taken by the Jonathan administration as a vote of no confidence.

The level of interference by the Obama’s government was very overwhelming,” lamented Jonathan during an interview with the BBC. He further said Obama went “outside the normal diplomatic relationship.”

“Immediately the Chibok issue came up, we expected Nigerians to be concerned. How do we get these girls out? Within a couple of days, we saw people going to the US with Bring Back Our Girls Placards… How? Why? … and of course Mrs. Obama received all of those placards.”

Jonathan further goes to say that the U.S. State Department poured “vitriol on our administration” and cast his government in a bad light and “as a problem of Nigeria, far beyond the Chibok situation.”

“The level of interference by the Obama’s government was very overwhelming. It’s not as if I couldn’t have won the elections even with that, but if, by my own thinking, and also the way some other people looked at it, they go outside the normal diplomatic relationship, then it should be mentioned.”

Though to substantiate Jonathan’s claim that the act of FLOTUS jumping aboard a social media campaign calling for Nigerian authorities and the international community to intervene, made him lose his second run for the office is difficult. It does nonetheless underscore the power of social media in today’s world.

Time and time again, we have seen social media become a voice for the voiceless. I mean how else would the Chibok girls get their plight heard by someone so protected and inaccessible as the FLOTUS?

Check out some of the most outstanding #BringBackOurGirls campaigns here.

Felix Omondi

Kenyan citizen with a passion for writing for as long as I can remember. In my spare time, I like to blog and read up on trends that's happening around the world.

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