The Presidency has signed up on Facebook page, bringing the number of social media pages President Muhammadu Buhari is associated with to six.
This comes at a time the media team is auditing the digital media presence of the President with a view to deactivating those that are no longer active.
Buhari has two accounts on Twitter, one on Facebook and another on Instagram. The Presidency, as an institution, owns an account on Twitter in addition to the newly-created Facebook page.
Some of the pages were signed up during the 2015 general elections. They were created as part of campaign tools of the President. After the elections, some of the accounts went dormant, but they have not been taken down.
On what the media team intends to do with the inactive accounts, Special Assistant to the President on Digital/New Media, Tolu Ogunlesi, said an audit had commenced on Buhari’s social media platforms with a view to deactivating the redundant ones.
“We are currently doing an audit on all the Presidency’s social media platforms so that we can streamline the messaging. Redundant platforms will be deactivated,” Ogunlesi, who also revealed a plan to create a YouTube channel, said via an SMS.
@AsoRock, the Presidency’s Tweeter handle, has stopped publishing since May 31, 2015. It was used to announce the appointment of Buhari’s media aides – Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu – after which it was abandoned.
The page, which invites Nigerians to follow it for “latest information from the administration of Buhari”, started tweeting on May 28, 2015, a day before the administration was inaugurated.
Buhari’s personal Twitter page – @MBuhari – played a key role in the social media profiling of the President during the 2015 presidential election. The President, even after an official Twitter handle (@NGRPresident) was created, continued to use @MBuhari after he was sworn-in.
But like @AsoRock, @MBuhari was abandoned on September 6, 2015. Its last tweets included what the administration considered as its achievements in its first 100 days in office. Notwithstanding its status, @MBuhari remained the highest-followed digital page of the President. It is followed by 525,000.
On June 18, 2015, the President took to his verified Facebook page to mourn Nigerians who lost their lives to terrorism, after which he urged for cooperation to end insurgency.
“I mourn every single death of a Nigerian as a result of terrorism. That is why security is my number one priority. Our efforts to strengthen security cooperation with our neighbours and adjust our own response to Boko Haram will yield results very soon. Our resolve and capacity to end terrorism is much greater than the threat we face. Nigeria will prevail,” he posted.
The message made headlines on blogs and other social media. But the post seemed to serve as the sign-off message on the page.
Over nine months after it hit the cyberspace, the page has not been updated. Yet, hundreds of people go on the platform daily to express their views on policies and pronouncements by the President.
Instagram also welcomed @ThisIsBuhari sometime during the presidential campaign with excitement. In the early days of the administration, the page was ‘kept going’. It was, however, suspended before Buhari marked 100 days in office.
For now, only the newly-created Facebook page and @NGRPresident are functional. The two accounts, which are linked together, publish activities of the President and his vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
Except the unused platforms are deactivated, Buhari is currently ahead of his peers, at least, in Africa in terms of number of digital media pages.