A few days back, I decided to search the Instagram page of four Nigerians, two heavily rich Nigerians, one musician and entertainer and Hushpuppi who claims to be an Instagram celebrity. You may wonder what I went to their Instagram pages looking for. All of us Nigerians are followers of different people for different reasons. For some of us in the media, we follow some persons because they are newsmakers. An example is Chief Femi Fani-Kayode. I follow him on twitter and facebook.
The reason is that FFK as he is fondly called makes great posts on facebook that make big news for those of us in the media who crave for big stories, some of which are exclusives. FFK makes fearless revelations and stories we make from his posts give us great readership as online publishers. For me that is why I follow FFK. And I want to believe that most people follow him for his fearless and very sensible talks and great revelations.
Now back to my search, I checked the Instagram page of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, I discovered that he has 190,000 followers on Instagram. Everybody in Nigeria knows Dangote. He is the richest man in Africa and it is believed that there is a lot to gain from him on how he made his way to the top in business and success in life. It is also believed that Dangote passed through the ladder to get to the top in his business pursuits.
Thereafter, I moved over to Femi Otedola, who is also another successful businessman in Nigeria, though he is not up to the class of Dangote in net worth. His followership on Instagram is 1.1million followers. These are men who are great to the extent that when they pull their resources from the national economy, Nigeria’s economy will shrink. They command respect because they are successful men.
Again, I moved further to check the Instagram page of Naira Marley, I was embarrassed. I saw 3.6milion followers on his page. I use the language ‘embarrassed’ because the followership of Naira Marley is more than that of Dangote and Otedola put together. Both Dangote and Otedola put together will give us 1,290,000 followers for the two business moguls on Instagram. That is to say Naira Marley’s followers alone are more than the two business men. Naira Marley is an entertainer and a musician, so his source of wealth is known to all Nigerians.
After that I checked Hushpuppi, the international fraudster. He has 2.5million followers on Instagram and he follows only 888 people on the same app. He said he is not on twitter, not on facebook, only Instagram. Now, my mind begins to wonder, who are these followers? Definitely, they are Nigerians, mostly youths in this country. So, they prefer to follow and learn from Hushpuppi more than Dangote and Otedola? I also began to wonder what constitutes values for our youths in Nigeria? Who are the role models of Nigerian youths? What criteria do they set for choosing role models and who to follow?
Hushpuppi who is fond of living extravagant life has more followers than men who earn their living through hard work. Hushpuppi who Dubai police describe as biggest fraudster in the world and allegedly earns his living from scamming and cybercrimes has more followers than great men of timber and caliber. What do Nigerian youths stand to gain from his display of exotic and luxury cars on Instagram? No wonder, some Nigerian youths can do anything to make big money and to them, the end justifies the means. Most of them are ready to damn the consequences of their actions, provided they achieve their goals. This is a dangerous trend for Nigeria.
It’s time we begin to redirect our values in this country. Many of us are placing our values on the wrong side of life. Getting wealth is good as it will help to attend to so many challenges of life and also assist people around us. But the road to getting the wealth is of serious concern. If the road has some questionable character attached to it, it must be jettisoned. How many Nigerians will now want to associate with Hushpuppi among the 2.5million followers he has on Instagram? Nobody! They have al joined those calling him names. People like one Daddy Freeze who ate and dined with him is now ashamed to identify with Hushpuppi because his source of wealth has now been revealed.