Social media, propaganda and electioneering campaigns: The Nigerian experience (1999 – 2019)
Alegu JC, Maku BS, Adelaja KI, Rasheed AA
The use of propaganda to secure the support of the electorate before elections has become common place in the Nigerian political arena. With the advent of social media which has been described as democratic because of the unfettered access of its users to send and receive information; political campaigns in recent times have become more or less, an avenue for peddling deliberate falsehood against the perceived opponents. In Nigeria, politicians always embark on battle of wits as they struggle for the minds of the voters on whom their victory depends in elections. Sometimes, they go for the opponent’s jugular using the instrumentality of social media and propaganda. This paper is an analytical study anchored on technological determinism and uses gratifications theories. It examines the utilization of social media and propaganda in electioneering campaigns by political parties and their candidates in Nigeria. The paper argues that, in their bid to win elections, political parties and their candidates resorted to propaganda and making of big promises that are hardly met; which translates to dashing the hopes of the electorate after voting them to power. The paper concludes that propaganda and social media posts or tweets cannot translate into electoral victory if not backed up with actual voting of a candidate during elections by the electorate. The paper recommends among other things that political parties and their candidates should rise beyond propaganda and social media posts and carry out issue-based campaigns devoid of calumny, character assassination and hate as done in saner climes.
Alegu JC, Maku BS, Adelaja KI, Rasheed AA. Social media, propaganda and electioneering campaigns: The Nigerian experience (1999 – 2019). International Journal of Sociology and Political Science, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2020, Pages 04-13