Way back in 2009 or thereabouts, whenever I go to check my mails, I would see a mail that friends had invited me to join Facebook. I always wondered what Facebook was, as I thought it was a book that had a face drawn on it. LOL!!!
In those days, mobile internet never “kpokri” like dis, so I largely made use of Cybercafés to do my internet stuff. My activities then were solely limited to checking/sending my mails, browsing for information. I am sure we remember those days of Yahoo Messenger when the first thing you typed when you came online was “ASL”(a lot of folks will not remember these good old days). I decided to try Facebook out of curiosity (I no bi pussy so e no go kill me) and it was a wonderful experience. I found out I could connect with friends from secondary school, my hood and other folks I had thought were already raptured. It was great getting in touch again. I also made new friends, courtesy of my friends. I could also express my thought, more like publishing my own book, with no editor telling me “tolerance”. I added people and I was also added. Men!!! It was an awesome experience. Occasionally, I would see a post I liked, go to the person’s wall to see how the person’s mind worked (Professor Richard Idubor, 2005), then send a friend request. Some people whom we usually passed ourselves along the corridors of the faculty became very good friends (e.g. , my E-boo, Ebika whom I can’t even remember knowing in school and I are now very good friends ). I made new friends and strengthened my friendship with others. Not also forgetting that “Some Mothers do have them” sha.
Then, Facebook was fun. There were some folks whose walls were a reservoir on certain subjects an if I wanted to learn anything, I would “pick race” in a manner that even Ogbeni Usain Bolt would envy to their walls and leave better educated an enlightened. There were comedians, pastors/imams, book reviewers, historians etc.- a potpourri of individuals. Whenever a certain topic was trending, na their walls I dey go. For example, till date, the walls of Kelechi Deca and Ademola are like my virtual shrines when I seek knowledge on certain issues and if dem never post on a particular trending matter, I dey vex. In all of those early years, issues were analysed and discussed objectively , with each person, moving to a middle ground on opinions. No insults, no invectives. Politeness, finesse and good manners. Then, two people after arguing on an issue, on a mutual friend’s wall, would send each other friend request and become friends. Suddenly, suddenly (D’Banj, 2006), in the build-up to the 2015 polls, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in the name of All Progressives Congress (abi na Confidence) came into existence and the mud-fight began. Suddenly, suddenly (op cit) EVERY single issue, no matter how minute or innocuous it may seem became compulsorily seen from the twin lens of APC/Islam/North/Buhari v PDP/Christianity/South/Jonathan. Folks I hitherto respected, “descended into the miasma of political cauldron in the bid to play the legendary Don Quixote de la Manche” (ABARIBE V ABIA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY AND OTHERS Per Pats-Acholonu JCA, as he then was). Enemy lines were drawn. You had to agree with a person’s opinion political[ly or you were a fool/efulefe/idiot/goat/e-rat/omo buruku/shege dan iska. It was crazy. We took up fights for politicians who don’t give a rat’s ass about us. Our only link with them was the fact that we came from the same region/state or belonged told the same religion. Some took it a notch further by “collabo-ing” to report the account or even hacking the account of a “dissenting” opposition figure and gleefully beat their chests about it.(Ogun go kill whoever try any of these nonsense with my account). There were only two camps, you either belonged to “us” or your wall was marked “X” like the Urban Planning Authorities would do.
Now, those of us who refused to belong to any camp we termed cowards, fools, lily-livered human beings (What the dickens happened to the constitutional right to freedom of thoughts, expression and religion or has it been expunged?).
We are suddenly stratified into two camps- Camp GEJ and Camp PMB. iThat is to say, you were either a “Lying Liar” or a “Wailing Wailer”
To the Buharists(as they call themselves), Buhari is the second most perfect being after Jesus Christ or the Holy Prophet. The maxim is “Rex non potest peccara”-a jurisprudential maxim that means that the king is capable of doing no wrong. To them, Buhari is flawless, honest, perfect and incapable of doing wrong. Any wrong done under him must be by his sub-ordinates, without his knowledge or involvement. All the problems this country has are the handiwork of GEJ/PDP. Goodluck Jonathan is “Clueless”, “Otuoke Drunkard”, “Otuoke Fisherman”, “Shoeless” and other derogatory names
On the part of the GEJites/Jonathanians as they call themselves, Jonathan is the best thing to have happened to Nigerian after draw soup. Nigerians OWED him and them a duty to have elected him for a second term and since we had failed/refused and/or neglected to so do, we were fools. E no go beta for us. We chook hand for tortoise yansh by our action. Buhari is “brainless” “Boohari”, “Zookeeper” “Bokohari”, “Cow” and all the derogatory names you can imagine (all because the man they supported, who has even moved on with his life, lost an election. To them, Nigerian will never work since it is not Goodluck Jonathan on the seat as “shugaban kasa”.
Engage any of these people in a debate and tell them to try to convince you and the next thing you get is a barrage of insults and probably blocking. Pictures/ cartoons are being created/photo-shopped for the purposes of ridicule. Support for a person is determined by one interest. E.G., the Igbo man is suddenly quoting and sharing updates from “Funny-Kayode”, despite all the insults he has heaped on the Igbo race, simply because he opposed Buhari or shows support for their cause (which he may abandon soon) and resort to insulting the Igbo race.
I seriously yearn for those days when Facebook was interesting, when we debated and argued on social media without being insulted.
Sadly, that phase, like, virginity, seems to be lost forever. The elections may be over, but the effects on our joint and several psyches is still there.