I am professionally interested in how the Internet (online media) may be used in fostering an effective democracy within a particular society. My research falls under an area called the Digital Public Sphere. Nigeria is my present case in point, that’s why an eEvent like #ActiveCitizenship on Twitter catches my eye.
Democracy is about citizens deliberating, dialoguing and actively participating in the governance of their respective societies. The Digital Public Sphere encapsulates what happens when these citizens decide to meet-up online (from diverse geographical spots, hence transnational) and perform their democratic obligations.
I consider this particular Twitter TownHall Meeting really interesting because it seeks to address the INACTIVITY or WRONG ACTIVITIES of citizens themselves in the affairs of their country. It is a departure from the usual complaints against the government. A tweet for instance read:
Tweeps, please stop taking unofficial shortcuts to get your passport, drivers license and vehicle license
The official date and time for the event (as publicised on Twitter) is December 28th, 2011 @ 11am, Nigerian time. Someone actually cracked a joke @ the stipulated time, asking, “when you say ‘Nigerian-time’, do you mean 2pm?” Well, this is part of what
#Activecitizenship is about – to address certain poor habits of Nigerian citizens.
Other issues raised by the Nigerian Tweetizens for discussion are bribery and corruption, total disregard for the sufferings of the less privileged in the society who take the heat in crises situations, violence & thuggery, poor security and environmental sanitation system – dropping stuff on the road for the highway managers to ‘do-their-job’.
I look forward to observing this meet-up tomorrow. The official hashtag is
#Activecitizenship. Will I see you there?