Oluseun Onigbinde and The Danger of Social Media Shaming
“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”
Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister
Let me start by congratulating my friend and brother, Seun, for his courage in accepting the position as #TechnicalAdviser at the Ministry of Budget and National Planning. It must have been a tough call, no doubts. But I would have done same, without thinking twice.
Given the outcry that has greeted his decision to serve a government he had previously criticized on several occasions, it provided an opportunity to address a rather important issue about cyber bullying. This development has given me the rare opportunity to reflect and ask myself some tough questions.
One of which is:
“Wale, what would you do if faced with such dilemma?”
“Can you serve in a government whose key agendas you don’t support? For instance, can you serve the Trump presidency?”😊
“Will you play it #safe and please the #faceless crowd of Twitter fans who have no known #ambitions or purpose in life than to criticize any and everything government do?”
Of a truth, I’ve actually been in Seun’s shoes before. But unlike Seun, my critics did not have a truckload of digital footprints as ammunitions against me.
If you attended college in Nigeria then you will remember those annoying set of students who wake up around 5–6am doing morning calls. They’d tell you to either give your life to Christ or burn in hell Fire. 😂
Well, mine was worse. I usually go around the LASU Engineering campus in Epe, begging and exorting people not to LEAVE Nigeria for greener pastures. Yes, I know right?! I have never done anything dumber in my life.
Not only did I eventually migrate from Nigeria but I also ended up switching nationality/citizenship and joining a foreign Army.
Paul of Tarsus nailed it:
“It’s like this: when I was a child I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I became a man my thoughts grew far beyond those of my childhood, and now I have put away the childish things.”
You’d agree with me that we’ve all done countless dumb stuff as youngsters but I’m thankful I wasn’t active on social media then or else some unfortunate internet warlord won’t let me drink water and drop cup.
My point is: we’ve all have had to change our positions and perspectives about countless things in life. That’s called GROWING UP!
Any fool can criticize; it’s one the easiest things to do. However, nothing will be solved except we move beyond criticism and proffer solutions to move the nation forward.
I have taken my time to read from both sides of the aisle on this issue and I feel some people are just jobless or have an axe to grind with Seun. I would have had an issue with him if he was not qualified for the position.
My question to his critics is this:
“Is Seun qualified or not to serve as TA at the Ministry of Budget and National Planning? Won’t Nigeria be better to have such an intelligent young chap at the helm of affairs in such important office?”
I’d love to close this piece with one of my favorite quotes from one of the greatest American Presidents of all time:
“It is not the #critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Congratulations once again to one of the emerging thought leaders in Africa. May this be the beginning of greater things to come.
Oluseun Onigbinde (18 September 1985) is a Nigerian entrepreneur and open data analyst popularly known as the co-founder and CEO of BudgIT Nigeria, a Nigerian civic startup. Oluseun is a fiscal transparency advocate and firm believer in the power of Open Data. In 2012, he was awarded the Future Awards Prize for Science and Tech Innovation. He attended the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta where he obtained a bachelor of engineering (B.Eng.) in Electrical/Electronics Engineering and the Stanford university graduate school of business where he completed the executive program in Social Entrepreneurship. Some of his local and international awards include: Ashoka Fellowship for Global Entrepreneurs; The Future Awards, 2012; World Summit Youth Award; Knight International Journalism Fellow.