2019, Do We Need IT Savvy Reps for Effective Representation?

IT Savvy Rep
Elder Friday Iwok, a member representing Abak State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly considered ICT during his constituency empowerment recently in his State Constituency.

There has been a lot of arguments in various WhatsApp forums as regards the status of our politicians when it comes to tech.  While most people believe it is useless for our politicians to have first-hand knowledge of tech developments in their various constituencies, others are of the opinion that effective laws and empowerments cannot be made in this direction if our politicians do not understand what tech is all about and how to effectively harness the power thereof for effective representation.

Sometimes last year, I posted in a WhatsApp group that our politicians should include ICT in their empowerment schedule.  It is unfortunate that IT practitioners who are equally represented by the politicians do not have any form of empowerment from these politicians to grow their businesses. The supporters of some politicians I later pointed out in the group, went on rage saying such ideas were not supposed to be shared on a WhatsApp forum.  This is worrisome as the ignorance of the politicians about communication channels should be complemented by their aides.


On a strictly personal grounds, I think all Nigeria Politicians of the 21st century need the basic knowledge of what is trending, not only in the IT industry, but other tech related sectors like automobile, space technology, etc. For the sake of this expression, I will only focus on Information Technology which I believe is the simplest approach to any tech development in this century.

There was a joke while we were in school on who actually existed before the creation of the world. While the Electrical Engineers lay claims that they had already wired the whole earth before God gave the command “let there be light,” which they eventually powered on giving them an edge over all forms of Engineering that will ever come into existence. The Communication Engineers believe there could never had been any electrification or God’s command being carried out if there was no technology for communication within the system.  Of course, ‘let there be light’ was a form of communication, giving communication engineers a level of seniority over all practices.

I will base my argument in this write-up supporting the communications Engineers. Recently, an ex-military Head of State, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) opined that “Nigeria needs an IT Savvy President,” he said this while admonishing president Muhammadu Buhari not to contest for a second term. Why would IBB of all men ask his aged and seemingly weak ex-colleague not to contest again while clamoring for an IT Savvy leader in the 21st century Nigeria?

Our politicians and leaders need to be pro-active to the plight of the people they are representing or governing. It is widely rumoured that President Buhari’s inability to understand the level of damage in Benue State and other parts of the country by the Herdsmen is a result of his distance from Information Technology hence finding it very difficult to connect directly to the people he is governing in today’s dynamic world.

Therefore, as we approach 2019 where we will use the ballot boxes to determine who our next leaders should be, we should consider giving the archaic politicians a position of statesmanship rather than projecting them in the forefront of events.  It is very sad that some politicians are unable to check their emails alone and do not even know how to get effective hands to assist them in the area of information technology. A typical case is as related recently in a WhatsApp group.

Communication requires the complete processes for the proper dissemination of information. This include The Sender, The Channel and The Receiver.  It therefore means that social media communication should be regarded as one of the channels of communication for our politicians. We do not expect an event in a particular constituency to trend for a period of time while the representative of such constituency claims ignorance due to his ineptness on the social media platforms.  It is therefore disheartening that some politicians do not know how to assess their social media accounts even when this channel of communication is fast overshadowing all other forms of communication channels and is widely acceptable presently.


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