An appraisal of the utilisation of social media for political communication in the 2011 Nigerian presidential election
AbstractThe study is a survey aimed at examining the utilisation of social media for political communication during the 2011 presidential election in Nigeria. The rationale behind the study was to determine whether voters’ choice of presidential candidates was influenced by their social media use. 249 respondents selected through random sampling responded to 249 copies of questionnaire administered. The results of the descriptive statistics show that majority of the respondents’ choice of presidential candidates during the 2011 presidential election was influenced by the use of social media as indicated by high value of mean (1.5805). Similarly, the respondents were of the opinion that the two selected presidential candidates were popular because they used social media in their political campaign (mean value of 1.5575). In addition, the respondents affirmed that their voting pattern during the 2011 presidential elections was influenced by social media usage. This was validated by a high mean value of (1.6667). Similarly, the result of the test of hypothesis indicated that voters’ choice of political candidates was influenced by political communication on social media. The findings further indicated that religious affiliations and ethnicity were also factors that influenced voter’s choice of candidates. In view of the findings of this study, it was therefore concluded that social media have redefined the landscape of political communication in Nigeria and it should continue to be used in future elections in Nigeria. It is also recommended that electorate should also ensure that they deemphasized ethnic and religious considerations in their voting patterns in future elections; only credible candidates should be voted into power.
Keywords: Communication, Election, Politics, and Social media
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