Influencers are people who have large followership on social media platforms and whose views and opinions about issues impact society. They amplify national issues and grow brands. They are everywhere online; on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and the rest. From the North, South, East and West. Influencers are not appointment holders, but specific unwritten rules are expected of them.
In the North, social media influencers are expected to talk about issues of impact e.g. kidnapping, banditry, terrorism, illiteracy, poverty, girl child education, almajiranci and other peculiar and pertinent issues to the north. They are expected to do this as a social service to the people. To awaken consciousness and proffer solutions to these lingering problems.
But, unfortunately, Arewa influencers have failed us.
They thrive on the ignorance of our people that are impressed by empty oratory skills and eloquence. Once you speak or write well, you are automatically a northern online authority regardless of the falsehood or lack of authenticity that you carry.
Most of them now seek relevance only through intentional lies and misinformation. And some of our people (in their innocence) now provide them with the arsenal to keep using that tactic for attention- by still dishing out their loyalty.
This is all happening within a time when the North is faced with myriad challenges bedevilling its foundation’s very roots. More than 10 people were killed by armed men along the Kaduna-Abuja road just last week. Many women have been rendered widows in the Northeast due to the activities of bandits in the Northwest. The illiteracy level is still very high. Same with poverty and maternal mortality rates. A UN report recently showed that Northern Nigeria is one of the poorest regions on the West African axis.
But no, our influencers won’t talk about that. The only thing they care about is their ego and petulance. Pettiness is in their blood, and selfishness is their trait. They drag each other now and then. Everyone wants to be regarded as above the other.
You will never see their contributions calling out against injustices meted out on us or the palpable tension ravaging the region.
Earlier this year, Arewa influencers were caught fighting each other dirty on Twitter. The bone of contention: that who has the highest followers.
The most annoying part is that these same influencers sometimes get payments and contributions from donors who believe that they are doing well in the discharge of their social responsibilities.
The mediocrity among our Arewa influencers is, therefore, vast and frustrating. Theirs is all about the cruise, clout chasing, buying and selling accounts, business ads, poor content and trending mundane, inconsequential hashtags.
Arewa influencers will always embarrass you.