Social Media As Nigeria’s Tahrir Square

Posted: January 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

By Muhammad Muntasir Adamu

Tahrir Square (English: Liberation Square), also known as “Martyr Square”, is a major public town square in Downtown Cairo, Egypt. The square was originally called “Ismailia Square” (Mīdān al-Ismā‘īliyyah), after the 19th-century ruler Khedive Ismail, who commissioned the new downtown district’s ‘Paris on the Nile‘ design. After the Egyptian Revolution of 1919 the square became widely known as Tahrir (Liberation) Square, but the square was not officially renamed until the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, which changed Egypt from a constitutional monarchy into a republic.

The square was a focal point for the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.Tahrir Square was the focal point of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution against former president Hosni Mubarak. Over 50,000 protesters first occupied the square on 25 January, during which the area’s wireless services were reported to be impaired. In the following days Tahrir Square continued to be the primary destination for protests in Cairo. On 29 January Egyptian fighter aircraft flew low over the people gathered in the square.

On 30 January, the seventh day of the protests, BBC and other correspondents reported that the number of demonstrators had grown to at least 100,000, and on 31 January Al Jazeera correspondents reported that the demonstrations had grown to at least 250,000 people. On 1 February, Al Jazeera reported that more than 1 million protesters peacefully gathered in the square and adjacent streets. However, such media reports that so many people congregated in Cairo’s largest public square are believed to be exaggerated for political purposes and, accordingly to Stratfor analysis the real number of gathered protester never exceed 300,000 people.

In Nigeria, Facebook is our Tahrir square, where youths and adults come out and express their happiness and grievances on many national issues. I remember the January subsidy protest, social Media but most particulary Facebook helped in the mobilizations of that protest. I must commend Nigerians for their doggedness and courage that helped in pressurizing the government to reduced the price of litre to N97.

It is on facebook that you get to understand that Nigerians are divided base on religion and ethnicity. I don’t to go into details as such I will just give some words of advice.For the love God, let’s forget religion and ethnicity when it comes to the interest of the Nigeria state.

It’s a good thing that we have a voice now to challenge our leaders to do more for us.Just like when policies that are a seen as good for the Nigerian nation is highly praised and the bad ones are criticized by the citizenry all via facebook and other social media.

I want use this opportunity to call on Nigerians to unite under this umbrella for a better Nigeria. And afterwards, take this unity to Aso rock, States Government houses, National assembly, States assembly, Local Government Secretariats, federal and states ministries, departments and agencies.It is my humble prayer that one day our leaders will not be seen as Muslims, Christians, Igbos, Hausas, Yorubas, Fulanis, Bogghoms, Ijaws or Biroms but just as leaders who are ready and able to change the fortunes of this nation for good. Because it is only on basis of unity can peace and development be actualized in our beloved Nigeria. Like my mentor will put it, “Those who wish to sing always find a song”. If we all believe that we desire a change from this present mess, then unity is key to that actualization. Hate is no alternative to one love.

This is a reminder to Occupy Nigeria 2012 and those that lost their lives for the cause.

MMA is a social crusader, he writes from Jos, Plateau

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