Geoff Iyatse


Since he went online to accept the result of the 2015 Lagos State governorship poll, Jimi Agbaje has abandoned the same digital platforms where he received much attention during his campaign.

At the recent general elections, Agbaje, who contested with the Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, stood tall on different digital platforms, enjoying a huge traffic that came from residents of Lagos and beyond.Internet-Punch-illustration

The pharmacist, alongside a few other politicians, was credited for some of the innovations that shaped online campaign during the elections.

For instance, he was credited for popularising the use of hangout, an online interview forum. The platform, which he used regularly, gave him an opportunity to bring journalists and other members of the public together for an interaction.

On both Twitter and Google+, his hangout sessions enjoyed an overwhelming participation as the discussion often went viral. Several people signed up to exchange ideas with him and seek clarifications.

He was also among the few candidates whose Twitter and Facebook accounts were verified, meaning that his posts were considered more credible than others that were published on unverified pages. Perhaps, that gave the leverage he enjoyed online.

Apart from the social media, his website, which was updated hourly, attracted a tremendous traffic.

Most importantly, the former governorship candidate demonstrated that he understood the essence of social media – he was engaging.

For those who found time to tweet to him and ask him questions on Facebook, there were, in many cases, responses from Agbaje. Not many candidates, from different parts of the country, created time for a real-time engagement with their followers.

His YouTube videos, which were regularly uploaded during campaigns, recorded thousands of views in a matter of days after they were released.

Again, the quality of his video content and the consistency set him apart from the crowd of politicians.

But all that is history today. In fact, in the past three months, Agbaje has abandoned the same platforms that gave him so much visibility during his campaign.

There is no tweet. There is no Facebook update. And there is no post on its website.

Those who visit his frozen jimiagbaje.com are welcomed with the sensational April 15 message – “Thank you Lagos. I know that a lot has been said following the declaration of the governorship election of our great state. As you may have already heard, I have called Ambode to congratulate him and wish him well.

“It would be unfair, however, not to also thank all of you who invested your time and energy to support our cause.

“To my fellow Lagosians, especially those who stood by our campaign team all the way, I want to thank you. The passion that you have brought into this democratic process and your participation are not in vain.

“On the contrary, because you have made your voices heard in this election, in the final analysis, win or lose, our dear state will be the better for it…”

For those who would need to review his campaign documents, the site is not accessible beyond the welcome message that has taken over the home page.

Already, Agbaje may have been unfollowed by some tweeters. He had recorded over 30,000 followers before the election. But as of Thursday, he had 29,100 followers.

He is still following 29 handles, most of which are news channels.

The most recent update on his Facebook page was published on April 15. And it was the same “thank you” message that was duplicated on both Twitter and the website.

Agbaje’s Facebook is currently followed by 216,000. Reviews, which he regularly received from his followers, hardly come now.

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