Lagos mystery Gidi Traffic tweeter reveals identity

image captionGidi Traffic harnesses his more than 16,000 followers to send out his reports

The identity of the tweeter Gidi Traffic, who informs motorists in Nigeria's largest city Lagos of traffic jams, has been revealed to the BBC.

This has been a "a long-age mystery" since the Twitter account was set up last September, Gidi Traffic said.

"My name is Kaptin Idoko and I am Gidi Traffic," he told the BBC in New York.

He was nominated for, but did not win, the Life-Saving Hero award at this week's Shortys - regarded as the Oscars of the social media world.

"Making it all the way down to this ceremony was a big recognition for me," he told the BBC's Leslie Goffe afterwards.

"I'm the first African in this category so that is a great win already for me and the Gidi Traffic family of followers, Nigeria and Africa."

Mr Idoko said he set up the account to "ease stress" in one of Africa's most traffic-clogged cities.

"With traffic updates in real time, people can vary routes on traffic-clustered routes and avoid areas of unrest - saving people time, money, gas and helping people get to appointments on time."

'Accuracy and consistency'

The BBC's Fidelis Mbah in Lagos says there has been much discussion on social media about who is behind the Gidi Traffic Twitter account.

"@Gidi_Traffic. Good morning. I must commend your accuracy and consistency its amazing. But ur gender is shrouded in secrecy.☺pls tell," NOEMI tweeted in February.

On Tuesday, Annabelle Amoetuk tweeted: "So do we know if @Gidi_Traffic is a male or female yet? D suspense is too much!"

Our reporter says there has also been speculation that a whole team is behind the feed.

But Gidi Traffic said he was a one-man team, who does not get paid for what he does.

"A lot of people think Gidi Traffic is some computer programme yet it's actually just me," Mr Idoko said.

He says the live traffic updates work because he has a lot of followers on Twitter - more than 16,000 at the moment.

"They tweet whatever they see - traffic reports from all over the city - and I repost it," he said.

"I want people to know that you don't have to be an organisation before you can make an impact in the world - that just you as an individual can make a whole lot of difference in the world."

Around the BBC

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.