© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
SNOOPING ON TWITTER: Ezekwesili’s non-partisan #RedCardMovement dies after she joins presidential race
AMIDST the excitement of New Year resolution, Oby Ezekwesili gave a red card to Nigeria’s ruling party and the main opposition party.
Her goal then was to ensure that neither the All Progressives Congress (APC) nor the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wins the 2019 general elections. She promised to mobilise the citizens to vote against APC and PDP.
She had tweeted on January 4, “I tweeted at the end of 2017 that one will commit a significant part of my 2018 to building the Political Consciousness of citizens to END the reign of the status quo Decadent Political Class. This for me is the #YearOfTheOfficeOfTheCitizen when all Citizens lift their RED CARD.”
By working against APC and PDP, Ezekwesili said she would campaign for other good candidates from other parties. That was the birth of the Red Card Movement. The movement was formally launched on April 18 in Abuja.
“I hope that my Political Agenda for 2018 is CLEAR ENOUGH to the twin parties of APC & PDP and their allies. It is the Agenda of an ordinary citizen of this country. Mock it. Attack it. Disdain it. Do whatever. YET IT SHALL PREVAIL. Why? The UNIVERSE IS TIRED OF YOU,” Ezekwesili had tweeted on January 4.
The movement had a promising head-start, creating a website and social media accounts as well as launching the movement in some states.
But the presidential bid of Ezekwesili seemed to have quelled her ambitious New Year resolution. The movement whose Twitter handle is @RedCardMng has not tweeted since October 7, the day she announced that she has joined the 2019 presidential election.
The movement’s Twitter’s account which used to make an average of 11 tweets per day, has been dormant since October 7.
The movement has had a total of 3,841 tweets since the Twitter account was created in January this year with 8,578 followers so far. The movement’s 1,407 tweets had been retweeted and 1,398 of its tweets liked.
While the Red Card Movement has stopped tweeting, a new Twitter account (@RunObyRun), created after she announced her presidential candidacy, has been active.
Symbolically, the background picture of @RunObyRun shows Ezekwesili raising red card and dressed in green. The account has had 761 tweets with an average of 32 tweets per day. Out of the total tweets of the account, Ezekwesili had the highest retweets of 133.
The collapse of the Red Card Movement, which promised to mobilise up 30million Nigerians to register to vote, shows that Ezekwesili’s presidential ambition was an afterthought. If she had made up her mind about contesting the presidential election, she would not have started the movement with a brief lifetime.
As early as January, Frederick Nwabufo, a journalist and political commentator, saw the movement for what it was. It lacks sensibility and purposeful mission, Nwabufo wrote. “Her amplification of the vapid “Red-Card Movement” makes me think she is on a relevance chase.”