Twitter has joined other platforms like Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram on the ephemeral sharing train as it introduces “Fleet”.
They’re basically photos, videos and texts you can post on Twitter but they’re not actual tweets. Fleets live for 24 hours and disappear. Yeah, just like stories.
According to Twitter, it believes this will encourage more people especially new users who hardly tweet, to express their thoughts more freely.
Users might not want to tweet more “casual thoughts,” so maybe they’ll Fleet them:
Those new to Twitter found Fleets to be an easier way to share what’s on their mind. Because they disappear from view after a day, Fleets helped people feel more comfortable sharing personal and casual thoughts, opinions, and feelings. These are early findings from our tests and we’re excited to learn more about how Fleets are used by you.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former minister of finance, says she is yet to be declared director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The final shortlist for the office of the WTO DG was released by the trade body on Thursday.
Okonjo-Iweala and Yoo Myung-hee, former South Korean minister of trade, are the two final candidates for the top position in WTO.
Whoever emerges between the duo will become the first female WTO DG since the organisation was set up 25 years ago.
Following the announcement of Okonjo-Iweala as a final contestant for the role, information has been spreading on several platforms across social media that she has been declared winner.
But in a statement, Paul Nwabuikwu, Okonjo-Iweala’s media adviser, said the ex-minister has not been declared winner.
Nwabuikwu said the race is ongoing, adding that a winner will be announced in two to three weeks.
“The race for the WTO director-general is still very much on. Contrary to inaccurate information released online by an unidentified source, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is yet to be declared winner,” The statement reads.
“As announced by WTO, the former managing director of the World Bank and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee are the final two contestants left in the race.
“The winner should be announced in two to three weeks. That remains the correct position.
“Dr Okonjo-Iweala is appreciative and energised by the enthusiastic support of Nigerians. And she is urging all to keep praying until the final whistle.”
A reality TV show aiming to name a king at the end is supposed to be suspenseful. But there was no suspense at the BBN 2020 Finale, only a theme: Laycon’s Coronation. Bring your tuxedos, wear your agbadas, tie your gele.
It was obvious for weeks—at least for anyone on Twitter. His name with some random suffix was on the list of trends weekly. People just liked to talk about the guy.
Sure, his record label appeared to have pumped some money into his campaign. But many many tweets were not the generic content you get when you pay a platoon of influencers. A lot of it was people praising his talent, taking his side in a fight, or admiring his composure.
But, of course, the motivation behind all of these was just under the surface: Laycon didn’t win because he was exceptionally gifted; he won because he was exceptional in being unexceptional. He was the ordinary guy in an ordinary country.
Of the housemates lodged in Big Brother’s house, he was the representative of Nigeria’s most frequently encountered demographic: male, averagely educated, neither ugly nor breathtaking, possibly under-employed, certainly under-paid, “sexually enthusiastic”, likes hiphop music, and falls for pretty girls. You know this man. In fact, every Nigerian man below 45 has at least two of those qualities, and every Nigerian man not born to Otedola or Dangote or someone within that tax bracket, looks in the mirror and sees or has seen Laycon give or take some musculature.
There are only two ways of preventing such a representative person from winning a reality show like BBN in a poor country: a contestant with crazy obvious level of talent/charisma, or an equally relatable female contestant.
In the conspicuous absence of the first, enter Erica.
For women in the spotlight, beauty can be a double-edged sword. It can propel ambition, but it can also spark envy in the hearts of the same people you need to thrive. Miss Nlewedim is one of the fortunate ones with the type of beauty that feels grounded. (“Girl next door” is a tired but apt phrase for the lady.) It is almost certainly why Laycon figured he had a chance with her rather than with, say, Nengi, a woman who, to the average guy, would seem of surreal dimensions and carved—or, ahem, surgically created—out of unattainable material.
Erica drew viewers in. They liked her. And, to my mind, if BBN votes were only for those who watched the show religiously, Erica would have won. As it happened, this year was one of those years where drama in the house forces non-watchers to get heavily involved. And in a year where football went on a break and entertainment options were few, everybody and their uncle had a fill of the major narratives in the BBN house. Suddenly, it was a battle between the regular David and the pretty girl Goliath.
This was an incredibly profitable thing for the organisers of Big Brother: not only would people vote and vote to ensure their favourite housemate stays, but they would do so just to have bragging rights over fans of a rival housemate. In reality TV’s business model, love might be good business but love + hate is way bigger business.
And by not revealing the voting pattern until the end of the week, the model ensures fans have a motivation to keep voting blind, hoping that that little extra can take their favourite contestant over and above her rival. We would never know now but Erica and Laycon’s votes were probably about even until the Gordon’s episode.
Erica’s gin-soaked rant had two consequences: it got her evicted and deepened the Goliath vs David narrative.
A beautiful woman with a growing career vs a very average guy hustling his way into Africa’s biggest self-advertising platform. Plus, the guy kept smiling throughout the tirade, pissing his adversary off but winning fans over.
The underdog kept his head, and when clips reached social media, the underdog story was fully written. Goliath will kill David in the material world, but here was a chance for viewers to help rewrite an underdog’s story. Men, many of whom have probably had a beautiful woman destroy their romantic dreams, rooted for their avatar Laycon in droves. Erica won no new fans because women were already watching the show and voting for her. And because she couldn’t keep her rage under control in a controlled environment, she got disqualified.
Following Erica’s disqualification, the road to victory was clear, because no other housemate had created an equal emotional deposit in the hearts of viewers like Laycon. As even Laycon fans must admit, there would have been no 60% landslide for Laycon with Erica in the house. Nobody else had inspired deep hate or intense love.
Sure, people liked Kiddwaya’s chill demeanour, but how many Nigerians see their own stories in a billionaire’s son? Sure, Ozo was articulate, but Nigerian men are not raised to show his kind of vulnerability to Nengi so publicly. Vee/Neo were sealed in their own hermetic chamber, barely visible to both audience and housemates; Neo didn’t even get nominated throughout. Dorathy was also loved but, pardon the pun, she wasn’t fierce: she was never really the centre of a sustained conflict.
So for someone whose win was inevitable, Laycon subverted conventional wisdom: The one-eyed man might be king of the blind but unless he’s incredibly favoured, one of the blind is almost certain to be the most relatable. In 2020’s Nigeria, that person is Laycon. Laycon was all of us. But because of all of us, he is no longer one of us.
And that is just fine. The question now is: what next? It’s your move, Laycon. You can be Ebuka or you can be Efe. Whatever the case, Icons and the rest of us will be watching.
Words byOris Aigbokhaevbolo is an award-winning writer, media consultant and creative entrepreneur. He runs the writing academy Write with Style and the boutique editorial and media consultancy firm C&B, which helps young filmmakers/musicians/artists shape their brand and get noticed locally and internationally in a crowded media space. He’s on Twitter: @catchoris. And Instagram: @catchorisgram
A media aide to Governor Godwin Obaseki, Crusoe Osagie, has said that the former Lagos state governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, cannot extend his political empire to Edo, adding that the people of the state are determined to end godfatherism in their domain. Osagie was reacting to a viral video of Tinubu asking the people of Edo state not to vote for Governor Obaseki.
In a statement issued in Benin city, the Edo state capital on Tuesday, September 15, Osagie said: “Tinubu, in his quest to extend his political dominance and empire to Edo State, decided to take over the role of Edo people to choose through the ballot who to govern them for the next four years.”
Osagie noted: “It has become obvious that the spirited fight which Edo people have put up against godfatherism has sent tremors beyond the shores of Edo to the likes of Tinubu, who has for years sustained a stranglehold on Lagos and other states in southwestern Nigeria. “Hence this desperate, last-ditch effort to rescue the unproductive political instrument, now popularly referred to as godfatherism, with which he has feathered his nest and built his political empire at the expense of the people.”
Stressing that Edo people are committed to ending godfatherism in the state, he said: “Tinubu knows clearly that come September 19, when godfatherism would have been dismantled in Edo state, the people of Lagos may just have found the recipe and formula for removing the chokehold placed on their collective destinies for decades by Tinubu, hence the inciting television broadcast.
“He should take note that Edo people do not yield their will, liberty and power of choice to oppressive figures because they are perceived to have economic and political means.
“We always chase noble causes and a little study of our history should show Tinubu the indomitable spirit of the Edo person. “We call on all Edo people, friends of Nigeria and all lovers of democracy to disregard all the comments by Tinubu, as the allegations about the Edo state House of Assembly and other claims in the broadcast are completely false.
“We urge the irrepressible people of Edo state to disregard the threats and come out en-masse on September 19 to vote for Governor Godwin Obaseki and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as their voice and vote are supreme in the governorship contest.”
LEGENDARY author Chinua Achebe once echoed the eternal phrase that “if you don’t like someone’s story, please write your own”. It doesn’t add up in climes like ours that every now and then we throw stones at maladministration and official graft, yet never make conscious efforts to effect a positive change when given opportunity to lead.
It is common place for many at the helm of affairs in MDAs and parastatals to reinforce failure, but there are some conspicuous ‘few’ such as Mele Kolo Kyari, the Group Managing Director, GMD, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, who have vowed not to disappoint themselves and the nation as well.
They come prepared because success is when preparation meets opportunity. Christopher Columbus was not a fool when he warned that you can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.
Without being economical with the truth, it is a fact that many are wont to raise their eyebrows just at the mention of NNPC because the corporation is widely regarded as a cesspool of corruption, a cash cow that feeds the insatiable greed of those who found themselves calling the shots there.
Yes! A cesspool of corruption in a nation where joblessness, poverty and insecurity remained unchecked. A nation where tens of thousands and millions of children of school age roam the streets freely, begging for bread and constituting public nuisance. A nation where billions of dollars allegedly disappeared from the NNPC, still unaccounted for.
In fact, the downtrodden on the streets of Nyanya, Abuja, will readily appraise anyone working at the NNPC as a millionaire because the rogues fleecing the nation of its resources are predominant there.
This may explain why President Muhammadu Buhari couldn’t trust any other Nigerian with the Ministry of Petroleum and decided to make himself the acting Minister of Petroleum. But with the benefit of evidence, one can state here that the coming of Mele Kyari promises to change that ugly narrative for the better as far as the NNPC is concerned.
For the first time in June 2020, he killed one medusa by publishing the 2018 Audited Financial Statement of the NNPC. The statement covered all the 20-plus subsidiaries in the NNPC group. It was the first time in 43 years NNPC accounts would be audited and published for scrutiny!
Before then unaudited monthly financial and operational reports were published, but Kyari is the first Group Managing Director, GMD, to subject the accounts to an independent audit. However, sarcastically, the audited accounts exposed the very reason why previous GMDs failed to embark on such a suicide mission. The NNPC reports were usually calamitous.
Again, Mele deserves an applause for taking the bull by the horn and exposing the drains through which our common patrimony was distributed among the few. Mahatma Ghandi posited that an eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind.
In the light of this, Mele Kyari scored another A1 by mediating and securing a truce between Almighty Shell/Belema oil, operators of OML 25 and the oil well’s host communities in Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State. This happened just a few weeks of assuming office in July 2019.
Addressing conflicts with oil-producing communities in the oil-rich Niger Delta region is a sine qua non for stable oil production capacity which in the long run will translate into millions of dollars needed by the country to service its recurrent expenditures, capital infrastructures and huge debt burdens. Luckily enough, crude oil production under his watch has continued to sky rocket. The NNPC under his eagle-eye also executed the NPDC OML 65 project which should generate more revenue and create jobs in the areas of operation.
The NNPC under his proactive leadership has continued to canvass for a shift in the mono-cultural economy of the country; this is hinged on the impact of COVID-19 which has reduced the demand for oil and made oil prices to plummet. In a tweet on August 19, 2020, Mele asserted thus: “A year ago, #NPDC was producing around 136,000 bpd. Today, we are doing 260,000 bopd. This is a magnificent growth in any upstream company. Our target is to grow this to 500,000 bpd. This is possible within two years as we have lined up projects to achieve that “. Impressive!
He posits again in the accompanying tweets that “#NPDC is a top grade company that’s producing oil at a cost cheaper than most of its competitors. This is part of our target of bringing down the cost of production to $10/barrel. We are using the #NPDC as a benchmark so that once it delivers, every other company must deliver”.
The Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, is a fully-owned subsidiary of the NNPC engaging in oil and gas exploration and production activities in the hydrocarbon-rich regions of coastal Nigeria, both onshore and offshore. Under Mele’s supervision, the NPDC has become the largest producer of gas in Nigeria.
Another milestone is that Mele’s NNPC is breaking new frontiers with its partnership with Akwa Ibom State government to establish a logistics base in Ibaka. This is part of the efforts to develop capacity and grow local content.
The project is sited on a 2000 acres of land contributed by Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State. Hear Governor Emmanuel on transparency at the NNPC: “Since I became a member of the National Economic Council, I have had cause to interact closely with the oil and gas industry.
I want to tell you that we are feeling the positive impact of the present NNPC board and management in terms of accountability and transparency (and especially) in financial reporting.
We hope that they keep this up”. What can be more sterling than this unreserved commendation to NNPC- led leadership. Simultaneously, the NNPC exported $378.42m worth of crude oil and gas in June 2020 and thus earned $4.60bn from crude oil sale in one year.
These figures were contained in the NNPC June 2020 monthly financial and operations report! The uninterrupted fuel supply in the country in recent times is a testament of Mele’s innovativeness. Prior to his appointment, hiccups in the supply of petroleum products were a common feature in the Nigerian economy.
The incessant disruptions in fuel supply affected Nigerians’ ability to plan effectively. They could not predict when the next fuel scarcity would hit the country and families were often on panic mode, spending days and nights in long fuel queues at filling stations.
But that is no longer the case, thanks to Mele’s managerial acumen. His midas touch can also be seen in the commissioning of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano, AKK, gas pipeline which had been a story for the gods since the 1980s.
To mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on the people, the NNPC under Mele introduced the launch of a Petroleum Industry Intervention Fund which garnered a pledge of N21billion and is being used to fund medical interventions across the country’s six geo-political zones.
These include ongoing construction of an infectious Disease Hospital in Maiduguri, Borno State and partnership with ThisDay Media Group, Sahara Energy, the CBN and others to build the 230-bed ThisDay COVID-19 isolation, recovery and treatment centre in Abuja.
Though the NNPC is not out of the woods yet, it is safe to applaud the guts of a GMD who aspires to clean the augean stable instead of being an impotent king at the NNPC Towers. Ikhide, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Lagos