Wednesday, July 25, 2012

HOW SOCIAL MEDIA WAS USE TO ANNOUNCE THE DEATH OF GHANA’S LATE PRESIDENT PROF. J.E.A. MILLS




The use of social media in Ghana shot to its highest peak on Tuesday following the reported death of the President of Ghana H.E Prof John Evan Atta Mills later in the day. Many Ghanaians both home and abroad who could not come to terms with the news of the President demise relied a great deal on their facebooks, twitters and blogs to authenticate the news. As news media organizations across the country run their various major bulletin’s confirming the unfortunate incident which took place at the country’s 37th military hospital, thousands of face book and twitter messages of condolences were also slipping in for them to read. Popular informative radio stations in Ghana including Joy 99.7Fm, Vibe 91.9 Fm, Citi 93.7Fm and Peace 104.3 Fm recorded about hundreds of facebook likes to their various stories they posted on their respective website whiles many twits on their page about the death of the president. BiztechAfrica can confirmed that at the Kaneshie Market Complex where brisk business activities take place, many Ghanaians especially the market women were left devastated, other shocked by the news , whiles other were seen weeping with their mobile phones  ear device  stuck in their ears either receiving a call or monitoring one of the radio stations.    
The Ghanaian blogger was not also left out in the quest for accurate information by the public. Most of their blogs that carried the story of the president’s death saw a rise in the number of comments left by readers on their blog. According to one blogger, he was surprise at the massive rise in reader comments on his blog. Today will go down in history as a day when the Ghanaian blogger could not end reading comments posted on his blog from readers both home and abroad sending condolence message to the family and love ones of the late president Prof. J.E.A. Mills” he said.
Many internet cafés in suburbs like Kaneshie, Odorkor, Darkuman and Mataheko all within the capital, Accra that BiztechAfrica visited witnessed  high attendance at the cafés with customers glued either in pairs or groups to their computers surfing the internet to read more about the sadden death of one of Ghana’s most respected and revered president.
There were also huge traffic on mobile phone network connectivity in the country as fellow citizens make phone calls  and send text messages to friends, families and love ones to announce or confirm the death of their beloved president. Even before an official confirmation of the president of the president death could reach them, some high ranking officials within the corridors government confirmed to BiztechAfrica that they have heard about the sad news through a mobile phone call or a text message or read about it on their facebook page.
At 16:00 GMT major mobile network providers including MTN, Vodafone and Tigo have had their entire network jammed with massive traffic making it difficult even to make or receive calls without interruption. The situation stabilized at about 20:48GMT when the Vice President H.E.  John Dramani Mahama was officially sworn in as the President of the Republic of Ghana by Parliament.

Indeed just as the 24th of July 2012 would go down in history, as a solemn day where Ghanaian from all walks of live lost a sitting president to the cold icy hands of death, so it would also be remembered as the day when the tentacles of social media had a better grips on Ghanaians as a people not to stage an up rising to overthrow a dictative and oppressive government and president, but to demonstrate their love, respect, honor and reverence to a beloved and cherished president H.E Prof. John Evan Atta Mills. 

Benjamin Nana Appiah Acquaye


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