Government & the Citizen: Communicating the 21st Century Way in the Niger Delta
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The heterogeneous Niger Delta region of Nigeria, much like the African continent, gets lumped together as one huge expanse of land. Despite experiencing peculiar problems, the area is extremely different and beautiful. Different areas in the Niger Delta region have different technology penetration rates and this influences the rate of development as well as government influence penetration in these areas.
The Niger Delta is peculiar in its development as the nature of the area provides ample opportunity for government, private sector and citizen participation. But this is not the case because the Niger Delta has brought back the monologue; the government and their officials use their social media platforms to pass information but can’t be reached for comment or any form of discourse. There are no more town hall meetings as this model has been proven as expensive in other states.
It seems like the government only reacts to embarrassing stories on the Internet mostly covered by the mainstream media especially from other countries.
There are new agencies springing up to improve the quality of discourse with the government. The adoption of social media in the region will help the government stop or reduce the rate of implosion of the region. There exists a lot of opportunities for economic and social development in the area but without adequate conversation, the rates of militancy as well as exploitation and natural destruction might never go down.
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