SOCIAL MEDIA AND 2015 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN NIGERIA

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SOCIAL MEDIA AND 2015 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN NIGERIA

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1    Background to the Study

Information and communication technology has become a potent force in the transformation of social, economic, and political life globally. More and more, development strategies are based on the need for developing countries to embrace information technology both as a way to avoid further economic and social marginalization as well as to offer opportunities for both growth and diversification of their economies. The role of the Nigerian media in actualizing democracy cannot be overemphasized. The annulment of June 12, 1993 election by General Ibrahim Babangida’s regime tested the effectiveness and strength of the media. Media houses and journalists were able to sensitize the masses about the evils being perpetuated by the military and the elites who supported the annulment of the 1993 election considered being one of the freest and fairest polls ever seen in Nigeria. The Nigerian media made the Babangida regime became unpopular and eventually Babangida bowed to pressure by stepping aside on August 27, 1993.

In the 2015 general election, the social media became more potent tool and even a more lethal weapon. There were releases in the form of videos, voice notes, headlines, and broadcasts that made and marred many political parties and individuals. For example, a publication on Senator Buruji Kashamu almost marred his political ambition and eventually his swearing in. A hate video was broadcast on both General Muhammadu Buhari and Senator Bola Tinubu. Ordinarily, these videos might have ended the political ambitions of these individuals in some other places. The social media have become the most accessible source of information, particularly in the last two (2011 and 2015) general elections. The social media disseminated many messages to the public that went viral before the day of the election. The social media communicated to the public a lot of information that could have caused unrest in some volatile nations. For example, the social media gave other reasons for the postponement of the election from February 14, 2015 to March 28, 2015 aside from the unpreparedness of Independent National Electoral Commission. Reasons that made the public believed that the postponement was to the advantage of the ruling party as it would provide the opportunity for the ruling party to manipulate the election in such a way that the power of the electorates would amount to nothing. This sort of report can cause anarchy in some volatile countries that are not stable.

Nigeria held its Presidential Elections on the 28th of March, 2015 and contrary to expectations, the elections were free, fair and devoid of wrangling. The opposition party held sway and gained the upper hand in the polls. The opposition; All Progressives Congress (APC) also took the majority of the Senate seats and enjoyed wide support and acceptance from the populace. Prior to the election, the presidential and vice presidential candidate of the opposition party opened Twitter accounts and made their presence known on social media in which they engaged directly with the young people. Several issues were raised and the candidates were able to sell their programs and policies directly to those who mattered most. Posts were favourited and retweeted by thousands and the ripple effect meant that young voters had access to information on the go and were able to make up their minds as to who to cast their votes for. Several campaigns were also started by young people in which they became volunteers, campaigners and actively canvassed votes for their preferred candidate. The "Change" slogan floated by the opposition party as its rallying and campaigns was widely embraced by all.

Lively discussions, posts and virtual town hall meetings held almost on a regular basis on cyber space. People were able to air their opinions, and for once in the bistros if the country, the young people became actively involved politically. For any Government to actively involve and engage with its youths, it must go where they are. And right now, the youths spend most of their time on social media and the internet. Information is available on the go and people make up their minds on issues in the split of a second. On the day in which the results were being announced there was no electricity, which is one of the issues Nigeria faces at the moment and which, hopefully, will be addressed by the incoming administration. Still people were able to follow up with the trends, news and announcements on Twitter as several young people were tweeting the results on the go as they were being announced.

Social media really helped shape the opinion of many youths in the elections and increased the political awareness and consciousness of the Nigerian youths, be it by offering a platform for the candidates to interact directly with the voters or offering a setting to hold virtual town hall meetings. Trust social media to play an even bigger role in reporting non-official election results, mapping of troubled spots and sharing users' voting experience. Social media is now a new battleground for any election in Nigeria.

1.2    Statement of the Problem

The social media has become almost an inseparable part of human life in places where they exist. In recent times, social media have evolved new forms of democracy, government, and have become a clear and more effective voice of many. In fact, social media have influences on all spheres of human life. The impacts of the social media are felt most in the 2015 general elections. According to Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (2012), the 2011 elections in Nigeria witnessed a remarkable use of the social media as a tool for political communication. It was used for campaigns via personal websites, blogs, all social media applications, and several other media. Apart from this, the social media was equally used as a tool to undermine and even destroy the image of other political parties, most especially the People’s Democratic Party.

Social media will play yet an important role in Nigeria’s democracy in the coming years. With Internet penetration rates rising, Nigeria's 67 million internet population is likely to increase over the years. If the current administration considers social media to be some sort of pest, the next one might as well prepare for more of the same. The freedom the space offers will eventually be deployed by a lot more Nigerians, and governance and a listening government would be the better for it.

1.3    Research Questions

The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:

i)             what are the factors that are responsible for the use of social media in the presidential election?

ii)           What are the effects of the use of social media on the 2015 presidential election?

iii)          What is the relationship between social media and voters’ attitude in the presidential election?

1.4    Objectives of the Study

The main objective of the study is to examine the impact of social media in the last presidential election in Nigeria. Specific objectives of the study are:

i.             To find out the factors that are responsible for the use of social media in the presidential election.

ii.           To demonstrate the effects of the use of social media on the 2015 presidential election.

iii.          To find out the relationship between social media and voters’ attitude in the presidential election.

1.5    Research Hypothesis

Ho1: There is no significant relationship between social media and voters’ attitude in the presidential election

 

 

1.6    Significance of the Study

This study tends to investigate the impacts of social media in the last presidential election in Nigeria among all the eligible voters that had access to social media in one way or the other. It will show how BBM, WhatsApp, Gmail, Yahoo, Twitter, Instagram etc contributed greatly to electioneering campaigns of victory of the now ruling party in the elections.

1.7    Scope of the Study

          This study was strictly restricted to the eligible Nigerians who are qualified to vote and be voted for.

1.8    Limitation of the study

This study faced limitation that need to be taken into consideration. Apart from the obvious time limit and the delicate subject matter, there were issues that arose from the methodological choices applied to the study. Some respondents were not willing to disclose accurate information needed for the validity of the study.

1.9    Definitions of Terms

The following terms were used in the course of this study:

Social Media: This refers to computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.

Election: This is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy has operated since the 17th century.

 

 

 

REFERENCES

 

 Adedeji Saheed Oyenuga, (2015). Social Media Participation and Pollution of the 2015

General Elections in Nigeria. Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos.

Japheth Omojuwa, (2015). Social Media and 2015 Elections: Beyond APC vs PDP Beyond

APC vs PDP. Retrieved from http://www.naij.com on July 4th,2017.

Olakunle Olowojolu, (2015). Role of Media in 2015 Presidential Election in Nigeria.

International Journal of Politics and Good Governance Volume VII, No. 7.1 Quarter I 2016 ISSN: 0976 – 1195

Oyindamola Johnson, (2015). The role of social media in the 2015 Presidential elections in

Nigeria. Retrieved from http://www.voicesofyouths.org on July 4th, 2017.

Skopje, (2010).

SOCIAL MEDIA AND 2015 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN NIGERIA

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Information and communication technology has become a potent force in the transformation of social, economic, and political life globally. More and more, development strategies are based on the need for developing countries to embrace information technology both as a way to avoid further economic and social marginalization as well as to offer opportunities for both growth and diversification of their economies. The role of the Nigerian media in actualizing democracy cannot be overemphasized. The annulment of June 12, 1993 election by General Ibrahim Babangida’s regime tested the effectiveness and strength of the media... political science project topics

SOCIAL MEDIA AND 2015 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN NIGERIA

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  • CATEGORY : POLITICAL SCIENCE
  • TYPE : PROJECT MATERIAL
  • FORMAT : MICROSOFT WORD
  • ATTRIBUTE : Documentation Only
  • PAGES : 63 Pages
  • CHAPTERS : 1 - 5
  • PRICE : ₦ 3,000.00

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