To own a Twitter account is to be called out for your words in sometimes very uncouth fashion. We call it ‘bants’–a euphemism for “you ain’t even shit”.
Slander: “To defame; the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation”.
In Nigeria Twitterverse, slander has a slightly different meaning. It means creating a hashtag to call you out for your private life choices or something you said or have written. Slander means to have your DMs (Direct Messages) screen munched and tweeted to the world with accompanying emojis. Slander means to dig up your old tweets on a particular subject matter. Slander means you have no right to change your mind on a subject matter. Slander means to laugh at you, mock your lineage until you are left in tears; hot tears.
If you ever asked a babe out on Twitter or tweeted dirty, you were one screen capture away from being slandered in 2015.
As the year draws to a close, we recall some of the Twitter slanders that got fingers hitting furiously at gadget keypads.
We are a slander nation at Twitter Republic and we absolutely loveeet!
1. Femi Adesina
The presidential spokesman who re-invented the phrase ‘wailing wailers’, was damned if he tweeted and damned if he didn’t.
In a year where President Muhammadu Buhari said very little, Mr Adesina was fair game. His tweets irritated us and made us follow and unfollow him for as many times as we chose.
We hated him for his tweets and scolded him for not tweeting when we thought he should.
2. Toke Makinwa’s husband
His name is Maje Ayida but Toke Makinwa’s husband was what we called him for weeks on end.
We hung him out on the TL to dry for having the nerve to cheat on Toke Makinwa and putting their marriage in jeopardy.
There was a reported separation after and a comeback for Ayida. But while it all lasted, we followed him to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, insulting the living daylight out of his bald pate.
3. Lekki Lawyer and TPL
TPL is actually an abbreviation for Twitter Premier League–a football event organized from Twitter by Twitter users. Except that we made it more than a football event.
We drove to TPL in search of gossip and babes. Once we had found some, we let our Twitter followers know about our finds.
TPL became an avenue to tweet about who was sleeping with whom offline and who found a soulmate in a red or white dress. And when one lawyer based in Lekki allegedly cheated on his girlfriend, we sent his story to @Subdeliveryman to be shared and re-shared.
It is a wonder how Lottana Igwe-Odunze (@Sugabelly) managed to survive the ceaseless attacks that became her lot all through 2015.
Whether it was her paintings, her teachings on entrepreneurship and feminism; or her sharing of a rape tale for which she was allegedly the victim, Sugabelly was pummeled without let. She was at the receiving end of countless vicious, unprintable ‘bants’.
And she often gave as good as she got.
5. Yoruba boys
We kept them trending on account of a stereotype, all through 2015.
They became the poster boys of infidelity and heartbreaks. You didn’t even have to be one. Once you dressed like one and opted out of a relationship, Twitter Nigeria came for you–hard.
We invented memes to honor their perceived heartlessness. They became the demons we all came to love.
They kept taking one for the whole team of cheating men round the globe; all through 2015.
6. Nudes and leaked DMs
There were those who couldn’t settle their differences off Twitter, so they brought it to the court of the 140 character limit.
The guy who shared nude photos with one person suddenly finds himself sharing his nudes with thousands of giddy users. The babe who was asked out, screen-munches the chat trail for us all as evidence.
And then we shared, favorited and shared again.
We sat in judgment over affairs we had absolutely no clues about, besides the screen grabs in front of us. We meted out sentences how we deemed fit and waited for the next prey.
7. Ben Murray-Bruce
The senator representing Bayelsa East senatorial district in the upper legislative chamber, earned our ire and got under our skins on account of his tweets, in 2015.
Commonsense tweets and nuggets, he called them, but we hated him for them. It didn’t help that Murray-Bruce runs a chain of successful private enterprises. That angered us even more.
We took him out on the price of popcorn at Silverbird Cinemas, his flying 1st class when he preaches the contrary and how many Nigerians he has on his payroll.
When it came to Murray-Bruce, we threw the Twitter rule books outta the window.
8. Linda Ikeji
Perhaps no blogger gets as much stick as Linda Ikeji.
For many Twitter users, she passes for the Antichrist.
When she acquired this luxury property in upscale Banana Island area of Lagos, Twitter came for her like it always does.
And then, we all rushed to her blog in droves after slandering her. We couldn’t help it.
9. Sambo Dasuki
The former National Security Adviser (NSA) didn’t have to be on Twitter to feel the wrath of many users.
If no one could afford lunch, it was Dasuki’s fault. Having a bad day at the office? Blame it on Dasuki. Your hairstylist messed up the chosen style? Have a go at Dasuki. Had a fight with the bus conductor? He must be from Dasuki’s lineage.
We pummeled Dasuki like we would have loved to, in the last quarter of 2015. And as Nigeria’s economy tanked with global oil prices leaving a huge deficit in our coffers, we knew who caused it all. His name?
10. Change Agents Dinner.