Friday, December 26, 2014

Social Media and the 2015 Elections in Nigeria

Since the popularity of social media in the nomination and election of President Barack Obama, the power of social media has been proved and also effective in the Tunisian revolution. 
See “Tweeting Out a Tyrant:” Social Media and the Tunisian Revolution by Mariam Esseghaier

With over 67 million Nigerians on the internet and more than 127 million users of GSM phones, social media will play an influential part in dictating public opinion on Nigerian politics and politicians and should influence the 2015 elections, because the youths who are the most active users of social media are the largest voting bloc. But with majority of the youths unemployed, they will be willing pawns of the desperate political contestants who are ready to pay for their votes and in fact are already recruiting many jobless youths as "internet warriors" as reported in the international news media on the BBC and CBC.
Letter from Africa: Nigeria's internet warriors
Internet warriors: Fight for political sway in Nigeria goes digital

Some internet warriors of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) are earning as much as N100, 000 - N250, 000 monthly per person to attack and malign Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd), the presidential candidate of the opposing All Progressives Congress (APC) on Facebook, Twitter and popular Nigerian newspapers' websites like The Punch and Vanguard.

Social media will also be very effective in tracking voters and polling units and to monitor and report electoral malpractices and security updates at the various locations in Nigeria.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, Author of In the House of Dogs, The Prophet Lied and other books.

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