2014: My thoughts on Nigeria, politics, elections and social media

2014: My thoughts on Nigeria, politics, elections and social media

2014 is an important year for Nigeria. 100 years ago this year, what is today known as Nigeria came into being, after the amalgamation of the territories known as the Northern and Southern Protectorates.

It is also an important year for the world, being the centenary of the start of the 1st World War.

For me personally it marks the silver jubilee of my retirement from the Nigeria Customs Service, as Deputy Director, the second highest office in the Service. On the 28th of April 1989 I submitted my resignation letter, two months shy of the twentieth anniversary of my joining the public service.

It’s hard to believe twenty-five years have passed so quickly. In that time a lot has happened. I went into full-time business, and also became a politician. And that’s what I’ve done since then. A quarter of a century on, I remain as committed as ever to seeing Nigeria prosper and take an enviable place in the global economy.

There will be a lot of things happening this year. We will see elections in Ekiti and Osun States, and we will see preparations for the 2015 elections. How time flies! All eyes are on Nigeria, and there is much nervousness at home and abroad, about how this season will play out.

I believe the political class has a responsibility to start this year pledging their commitment towards peaceful electioneering. We all must shun incendiary language, and all action that leaves the impression that the electoral battle is a do-or-die one. There’s nothing do-or-die about politics! There is no justification for the loss of even a single life, in the quest for the realisation of a political ambition.

Now is the time to start holding ourselves to higher standards. There is too much toxic language in the political space at the moment. No one ever said politics should or could happen without disagreement. It is in the very nature of politics that its players should belong to different camps. But we can compete and disagree sensibly, without descending into abuse and violence.

At the end of the day it is not the angry press statements and conferences that bring development; it is well-thought-out plans and policies.

This year, on this blog I intend to set a good example, devoting a sizable potion of my time and attention to matters of public policy and good governance. Because, at the end of the day, that is all that matters.

And politicians will be judged, not on the basis of what party they belong to, or how many pages of letters they can write, but on the basis of how they’re able to touch the lives of the people they profess to serve.

Before I close, let me cast my mind back to May 2013, when I came to Twitter. (Actually I’d been there a few years earlier, but halfheartedly, and had taken a long break). I posted my first tweet totally unsure what to expect.

Looking back it has been an interesting ride. I’ve met and interacted with a lot of interesting people, endured a lot of hostility, and generally learnt a great deal. I think it has helped that my children are active there as well; they have helped me – the sixty-something year old grandfather – better understand how it works, and how to behave myself.

It would have been a lot tougher settling in without them.

I also started writing actively, and am grateful for your feedback on my blog. To see how I did in my 2013 blogging year, the people in my office sent me this exciting link http://jetpack.me/annual-report/56179862/2013/

I look forward to an exciting social media experience in 2014. I expect that I will continue to have to deal with a lot of criticism and cynicism, and I’m more than prepared to engage with as many people as possible.

And, who knows, maybe this year I will even venture out into newer territory. My children have been telling me about Instagram. I won’t promise them anything, of course, but I’ll keep an open mind. Which, I think, is the best way to approach a new year.

Wishing you all the very best in 2014, on and off the Internet!

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24 Comments on "2014: My thoughts on Nigeria, politics, elections and social media"

  • Good, looking forward to it

  • babaly mussa s. says

    This is awesome,in my opinion this is how our next president should behave,engaging himself in social media,that is where you will know the problems of Nigeria,take it or leave it,Atiku Abubakar remain the most credible candidate for president,infact we have started our sensitization in NIGER STATE……..TURAKIN ADAMAWA FOR PRESIDENT……ATIKU 4 PRESIDENT 2015,if you dont disappoint us,then you are the solution to NIGERIA problem,you will be GOD SENT

    • patrick says

      Atiku is very aware on how to tackle evil. In nigeria

  • thelma Obaze says

    Interesting write up,worthy of a statesman and politician.. Happy new Year

  • These thoughts reflect the inner you am beginning to start trusting, at least one out political leader

  • adamsbulama says

    This is great, social media has been one thing people have been missing here in nigeria, it shouldn’t be a thing of just youth alone sometimes, this social media is one power we have been missing to use here in nigeria, its also a good thing to see our leaders and mentors coming into social media to share their thoughts so we can learn from, I’m a big fan of social media. Social media has helped my life, atleast I got to interact with some of my mentors people I look up and learn from, including this great man mr alhaji atiku abubakar, I love his work, I love him so much and I learn so much from him too, and that’s why his latest book “MY LIFE” is my favorite book ever, I’m inspired by this man. Sometimes I just feel was that book written for me, some stories there are the same with me now, but yet to finish like him that’s one difference by the way. thank you sir. adamu bulama (@adamsbulama)

  • Turaki i will also like to see you on instagram..

  • isaac says

    …Classic…I never doubted you ran at such a high standard. Just take it easy and calm; your time will surely come.

  • Rahman Yakubu says

    Atiku is really playing the politics of Surprise! Surprise!! I love this, is not about​ making noise is about strategies and I pray it works for you

  • kizo says

    I have always admired your person but your patience has been faulted in some quarters. The common man today cries not because he does not know who to vote for, but because the person who he votes for is always too good to protect his votes in a society were so many things have been compromised. Long live zege mule u tiv.

  • Harvey says

    You have spoken well and for some reason i believe in you, I pray you listen to your kids as you vie for office come 2015 because so far they have been instrumental towards this CHANGE and better Atiku. Taking out time to stand out on social media really tells a lot sir as we all know the role social media plays, just as it can cause a revolution, like it did in Egypt. You have it all, Affluence and Opulence, be the man to cause a change. I am a lover of Ashiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who is not a perfect man, and also has flaws like any other man, but he has set a pace. I wont want to dwell much on that but you sir, i see you are ready to be a servant to the people, of the people and for the people of our GREAT NATION. If truly you mean well for this nation, then i pray God takes you to the seat of power.God’s speed and guidance. Long Live the FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA

  • Jibril Lawal Yero says

    A verygood and touching story Sir.

  • Muhammad Ibrahim Sambo says

    God bless you,

  • An intellectual write up from an intelligent personal. My Allah reward u. I pray other politicians can follow ur foot step n make Nigeria a better place. Thumb up.

  • Pst Fidelis Eze says

    Thanks Turaki,I like your political ideology and style. I look forward for a glorious 2014 with you via social media if possible telephone conversation. God bless you.

  • ADEEYO ADERIBIGBE says

    Very good one from a God-sent politician. If every politician in Nigeria is like Turakin-Adamawa, Nigeria will be transformed in a day. keep on strugling, Allah subhanahu wa tahala is with you and will surely answer our prayer for you to become our PRESIDENT. .

  • WAKILI says

    that good one my feature president. you are the only political gladiator in nija that is still standing. may your days be long my president TURAKIN NIGERIA.

  • It is refreshing seeing someone that has been involved with the nigerian project open up and engage with the citizens of nigeria. I would hope that with the volume of feedback you get would help you in trying to resolve alot of the burdens holding back a sovereign nation that could be and should be the example of how to turn around a country that has been riddled with ineffective governance… look forward to more of your personal insights… you get a thumbs up from me engaging with us

  • obi says

    I was touched by the write up.

  • Ahmadu Bello says

    I am impressed,keep it up.The creation of this plog will enable constructive interactions on issues of national development and good governance as you correctly said

  • ALLA KAREKA SHOGABAN KASATA 2014 IN ALLAH YA YARDA GABA DAI GABA DAI OGAH TURAKI

  • Shalom says

    Sir I can say I have been really inspired by you especially since you began social networking..I have read your biography and some articles which have inspired me. I have also seen that you have great desire for our country to be great. I must salute your courage for being able to join twitter and endure harsh insults from people who don’t know the good which you have done and your struggles to make Nigeria a better country. I am a teenager whose interest in the politics of this country was sparked off by my late father who when sick told me to read the newspapers for him and narrate what was happening. I began to develop interest in the affairs of this country and was also inspired by courageous people like you that Nigeria can become a Nation to be proud of. I will really love to be mentored by you and dicuss with you much about my love for this country and learn from you how we can change our nation for the better. I will be really glad to be in contact with you sir as I trust in God with you that you believe in empowering the youth for a better nation. My details: tel no: 08169621266, email: luk4shalomkaduna@yahoo.com. Thank you sir!

  • I read “2014: My thoughts on Nigeria, politics, elections and social media” with my mind opened, impressed. Happy New Year to you and your family. I wish you God’s blessings.

    I agree with all the points you noted, these paragraphs:

    “There will be a lot of things happening this year. We will see elections in Ekiti and Osun States, and we will see preparations for the 2015 elections. How time flies! All eyes are on Nigeria, and there is much nervousness at home and abroad, about how this season will play out.

    I believe the political class has a responsibility to start this year pledging their commitment towards peaceful electioneering. We all must shun incendiary language, and all action that leaves the impression that the electoral battle is a do-or-die one. There’s nothing do-or-die about politics! There is no justification for the loss of even a single life, in the quest for the realisation of a political ambition.

    Now is the time to start holding ourselves to higher standards. There is too much toxic language in the political space at the moment. No one ever said politics should or could happen without disagreement. It is in the very nature of politics that its players should belong to different camps. But we can compete and disagree sensibly, without descending into abuse and violence.

    At the end of the day it is not the angry press statements and conferences that bring development; it is well-thought-out plans and policies.” appeal to me particularly and I really want to thank you for expressing the truth.

    Sir, I only stumbled on your website minutes ago, but I wrote an article that similar to what yours here: http://www.tobiakiode.com/politics/46/pre-2015-elections-violent-attacks-in-nigeria).

    As a one-time Second family in Nigeria, it’ll be nice to read what your feedback is on it. Then, I’ll like to ask a few questions from you about yours regarding pre-post 2015 elections in Nigeria.

    God bless us all, as I look forward to engaging conversations with you. Amen.

    Yours in true service,

    Tobi Akiode
    http://www.tobiakiode.com

  • sirOscie says

    LOVELY WRITE UP SIR……

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