The presidential adviser on digital media and head of digital engagement, Tolu Ogunlesi declined to speak on if he received any calls from President Muhammadu Buhari who has been away for 40 days.

In an interview with at the ongoing Social Media Week Lagos, the media aide speaks on improving engagement with citizens on social media.

Q: What is the overall strategy of the presidency as regards citizens engagement?

A: We have an office of digital engagement, which is @digicommsng on twitter, which is leading our citizen engagement initiative on social media, over the next few months, you will see a lot of improvement in our engagement with citizens on social media.

We need a proper government website and a website for the state house, we are working on that.

Though there are still lots of gaps, however we are working on a social media policy which will guide the government and make citizen engagement a priority.

Q: What is your take on criticisms that the president’s media aides have not handled the president’s vacation very well?

A: People will always be people. So, on our part we ensure that we are improving engagement with citizens.

We are constantly working to improve our engagement. We are asking people to exercise some patience and watch out for the plans and initiatives we have for engagement with citizens that will take us to the next level.

Tolu Ogunlesi presidential adviser on digital media to President Buhari and other panelists at Social Media Week Lagos

Publishers need to step up and be more careful with what they publish. Google and Facebook need to penalize people who publish fake stories. Bloggers and journalists also need to self-regulate. It’s not one person’s task.

Q: Have you spoken with the president?

A: No comment. I have chosen not to comment. Humans have always been social people. People need to be educated on what is fake news or not. We need to know what people are consuming and give that to them.


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