• Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

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#AlexIwobi: Trolling Should be Punishable Under the Law!

One thing you can never take away from Nigerians is that propensity to express their disappointment in just about anything!

And that has always been the ‘Naija way’ even ever before the advent of social media. An average Nigerian is assertive, opinionated and highly expressive particularly about Sport!

However, cyberbullying or trolling good intentioned soccer player like Alex Iwobi should never be allowed!

Cyberbullying is a killer. It seeps into its victims gradually till it becomes deadly. While the perpetrators take pleasure in constantly dishing out snide remarks at their targeted victims without considering the negative impacts on the persons.

Trolls as we call them, don’t need to know you too well or personally before they pick on you.

They randomly pick on their victims – who they don’t just like either his or her pictures or comments or even videos on socials.

Research have shown that the trolls are usually sad and broken people who hide behind online activities to cause pain for others.

I’m glad I would be discussing this topic on my next Twitter (X) space conversation next week.

Cyberbullying can be likened to HIV in this Century. It is like a virus that’s spreading fast and if we fail to educate people about it, this scourge will continue to wreck silent damages on people’s psychological and emotional stability.

Cyberbullying is one the reasons suicide rate has spiked across the globe!

In 2021, Nollywood actor, Jim Iyke released his first movie, titled ‘Bad Comments”. The movie deeply mirrors the deadly impact of cyberbullying and trolling. And I tell you what, no matter how thick skinned or strong you may think you are, it would break you!

Back to Iwobi’s woes at the recently concluded AFCON. He was only trying hard to create and leave impression in the minds of his fans but unfortunately it didn’t turn out well!  Forgetting all his fans just wanted him to do was to perform the magic on the pitch and bring home the AFCON 2024 cup. But, It doesn’t work that way. Sometimes, fans always feel there are in better positions to criticize these sportsmen. Which is wrong!

I referred to him earlier as good intentioned player, because come to think of it, no Nigerian, whether patriotic or not would have wanted his country to drop out even before semi finals.

And I want to believe he had planned out his strategies before jumping into the pitch to represent his people. As Nigerians, we mustn’t be too judgmental of these Nigerians whom against all odds still try to fly our country’s banners anywhere in the world.

Soccer players represent their nations and they ought to be accorded all respect they can get from their compatriots regardless of any blunder.

At 27, Alex turned down the offer from an English football club and opted to play for his country. Ever since, he has made 74 appearances for Nigeria. And he has 10 goals for Nigeria as a midfielder. For that alone, he deserves some accolades instead of being bullied!

Trolling and cyberbullying him won’t bring back the Cup. We weren’t meant to clinch it in the first place because if it was meant for us, no other countries could have won it.

Therefore, we must let whatever blunder Iwobi committed on the pitch to slide. Let’s hope for the best in the coming AFCON!

And for those who wouldn’t stop “dragging” him, because the last time I checked his Instagram account he has deleted all his pictures because some supposed fans wouldn’t stop bashing him, I think it’s high time legislation on cyberbullying becomes a priority, so that the perpetrators too can taste out of what they dish out to others!

News Editor

Our News Editor, Muyiwa is an information management expert and Development Blogger with more than a decade experience in investigative reporting and journalism. He is passionate about human angle stories to all social issues in Nigeria and Africa.