A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Festus Keyamo, has advised prospective aspirants in the forthcoming general elections not to be deceived by the attention they get from the social media.
Reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s visits to some states in a series of tweets on Friday, the lawyer believes the warm reception the President received has proven that there are two republics in the country.
“The joyous crowd welcoming PMB (President Buhari) in different cities – as it also happened in 2015 – indicates we have two Republics in Nigeria,” he said.
According to Keyamo, these include: “The Federal Republic of Social Media where a few angry elites are always active; and the Federal Republic of Nigeria populated by everyday people who vote at elections.”
Since the beginning of the New Year, President Muhammadu Buhari has visited some states either to inaugurate projects or to commiserate with victims of attacks.
The President was in Taraba State on Monday where he called for an end to bloodshed as a result of the herdsmen-farmers crisis; and consequently visited Plateau on Thursday.
Upon his arrival in Jos to inaugurate some projects, President Buhari received a resounding welcome from hundreds of supporters in Plateau State.
With just less than one year to the 2019 polls, Mr Keyamo highlighted the two wrong assumptions he thinks Nigerians make about elections.
He listed them to include “that the loud voices of celebrities and elites are the majority view, and that no other world exists outside the opinions expressed on social media”.
According to the lawyer, former President Goodluck Jonathan and former presidential candidate of the United States Mrs Hillary Clinton were victims of such assumptions.
He noted, however, that the most effective way to aggregate opinions on whether a person who is eligible to contest an election should run or not is to ask the individual to contest the election.
Keyamo added that the victory of US President Donald Trump in the poll has clearly indicated that “there’s actually no other way to aggregate those opinions other than the actual election.”