Voters’ Assessment of Social Media Use for 2015 Electioneering Campaigns by the two Leading Political Parties in Nigeria
This paper examined voters’ assessment of social media use for the 2015 electioneering campaigns by the two leading political parties in Nigeria. The major objectives of the study were to determine the extent to which the two leading political parties in Nigeria (and their candidates) made use of the social media for their electioneering campaign activities and to ascertain the specific activities they purveyed through the social media. The study was anchored on the Agenda-setting theory of the mass media, adopted quantitative research approach, surveyed 105 respondents purposively drawn from Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi (the three main urban towns in Anambra State), and used the questionnaire as instrument of data collection. The percentage method was also used to analyse data. Findings of the study show that the two leading political parties in Nigeria did not use the social media much in the electioneering campaigns of the 2015 elections, that the candidates of the two leading political parties utilised the social media more than candidates of other political parties in the election, and that the activities they disseminated in the social media bordered mainly on announcement of party flag bearers, accusations and counter accusations of electoral fraud being strategised by the other political party or INEC’s connivance with one party or the other to rig the election. The paper concluded that the two leading political parties scored below average in the use of the social media in the 2015 electioneering campaigns, though, their candidates performed better than candidates of the other political parties. The researchers recommended more proactive use of the social media platforms by the leading political parties and all registered parties in Nigeria.
Keywords: Voters, Assessment, Social Media, Use, 2015, Electioneering. Campaigns, Political parties, Anambra State, Nigeria
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