Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has been made a special ambassador to Indian social media platform, Koo as his image was featured on the platform’s advert with the app promising to provide “exclusive updates from him only on Koo App!”
Koo, which is similar to Twitter, gained popularity in the Nigerian social media space in June following the ban of Twitter by Nigerian government.
Recall that Twitter removed a controversial tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened to punish ‘trouble makers’ in the South-East region of the country, a day later, two days later, Information minister announced the suspension of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria.
Koo’s popularity subsequently surged as government officials and pro-government handles stopped tweeting and migrated to Koo.
Top government functionaries, presidential aides, agencies, and other pro-government individuals also took to Koo.
The federal government stated that all social media platforms operating in Nigeria must be registered as a business entity locally henceforth. The same condition was laid down as one of the preconditions for the lifting of the ban on Twitter.
Within days of the Twitter ban, Koo was available on Apple and Google’s app stores and job openings had been posted on LinkedIn searching for local language speakers.
The home page of Koo shows an advertorial of Buhari as the face of the app in Nigeria and has triggered reactions.
A Civil Society Organisation, Center for Democracy and Development, CDD wrote;
“Its a shame the #TwitterBan has persisted till now, despite the economic disaster it has proven to be for youths who depend on #twitter for their livelihoods.
For obvious reasons, we find this ad by #koo, another microblogging platform, both immoral and distasteful.