Of the five ministers sacked by President Goodluck Jonathan recently, two of them are avid users of the social media. They are the former sports minister, Bolaji Abdullahi; and ex-aviation minister, Stella Oduah. While Abdullahi is active on Twitter, Oduah maintains a presence on both Twitter and Facebook.
The two ex-ministers embraced the new media shortly after assuming office in 2011. Oduah began tweeting on July 7, 2011, three days after being deployed to the aviation ministry.
Abdullahi, who stated his objective of using the new media as a platform for “engaging the Nigerian youth in incisive and extensive discussions,” tarried till August 22, 2011, before signing up for the micro-blogging service.
However, the two ex-members of the Federal Executive Council have since edited their profiles on the social media to reflect their new status as former public office holders.
Abdullahi, on his Twitter bio, says Nigerians should now address him as a “Thinker, writer, and problem solver.”
His former description on the micro-blogging service reads, “Honorable Minister of Sports/Chairman, National Sports Commission, Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Oduah, who was sacked on February 12, has hinted that she might still be available for any national assignment.
She now states on Twitter that in spite of everything, she still remains committed to the policies and programmes of the Jonathan administration.
Her new description on Twitter states, “Former Minister of Aviation, Federal Government of Nigeria. (I’m) dedicated to the Transformation Agenda of Mr. President.”
For the two ex-ministers online, it’s different strokes for different folks. While many Nigerians have continued to pour accolades on Abdullahi and wishing him the best, such could not be said of Oduah.
Checks on Twitter show that some angry Nigerians appear not to have forgiven her for approving the purchase of two bullet-proof cars for a whopping N255m.
For instance, one Smile Calferry is still angry with the ex-minister. Calferry, in a tweet to Oduah notes, “What happened to the BMW you bought? You can’t take it home with you. Nigeria will not remember you for good because our airports are still in a mess!”
However, Abdullahi has received myriads of goodwill messages from Nigerians online, as many question the rationale behind his removal.
According to them, Abdullahi was one of the most performing ministers in Jonathan’s cabinet and he made his mark on Nigerian sports.
Political blogger, Japheth Omojuwa, tweets that if he is asked to make a choice, he would nominate Abdullahi as the best performing FEC member.
He says, “He is my nominee for the Minister of Year 2013. Although he has been sacked by the Nigerian government, he can hold his head high. Better than the rest of them and he will always have my respect, for his service to God and country.”
Information and Communications Technology Consultant, Obi Asika, says Abdullahi’s sacking was saddening; noting that he did an excellent job as a minister.
“I was saddened to learn that Abdullahi is no longer our sports minister. He did an excellent job and can hold his head high,” Asika tweeted.
Kayode Akintemi says he wonders why “one of the youngest, brightest, most dynamic and result-oriented ministers” in Jonathan’s cabinet was sacked.
However, Adegboye Abeeb sends a message of encouragement to Abdullahi, asking him not to be perturbed by the sacking.
“Don’t be disturbed by the sacking. The most important thing is that Nigerians acknowledged your performance. Good trees don’t last long in the forest. Nigerians appreciate you, Mr. Abdullahi. You were the best minister in GEJ’s cabinet,” Abeeb tweets.
Amid the criticisms that have been pouring in for Oduah, some smart entrepreneurs have begun taking advantage of her presence to advertise their goods and services to her online.
A particular make-up artiste, Ajoke Fowoshade, has offered her services to Oduah. Fowoshade, who also deals in clothes, states that she will be willing to clothe the former minister now that she is out of office and also supply her other fashion accessories if she seals a deal with her.
Fowoshade, in a tweet to Oduah says, “Your Excellency ma, we do make-up, beads, Aso Oke of the highest quality and design, as well as aso ebi for your personal use. You can please contact us.”