Nigeria Election And Social Media Influence
Nigeria News takes a look at the influence the social media will have on the coming 2019 general election in Nigeria.
The present administration of President Muhamadu Buhari rode on social media propaganda to knock out the Peoples Democratic Party-led former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Of course, Buhari knew little about social media then and I doubt if he has learnt much now, Nigerians were tired of the impunity by the PDP government and needed a change in 2015.
The political calculation never favoured Jonathan and as a result, the PDP faced strong attack both from the conventional and social media. In a nutshell, it was the media that fell Jonathan’s government.
The government that allegedly rolled out looted funds to lobby the electorate, including the media, failed to win the hearts of many Nigerians who had dominated the social media space.
Hundreds of Nigerians quickly created their own blog sites, opened twitter and facebook accounts to wage war against the Jonathan administration and eventually succeeded. The social media platform was interesting but highly abused by many who chose vulgar languages.
But, I give it to Jonathan’s administration despite the various attacks, the government was civil against propagandists and makers of hate speeches in the way it handled the situation.
The opposition party, the All Progressives Congress enjoyed every bit of words that ran down the PDP government towards the 2015 general election.
But today, it is clear that APC cannot tolerate social media criticism of Buhari’s government. To the APC-led government, criticism is redefined as hate speech and could easily land a citizen in a police cell.
Public opinions are being sought online now and how the 2019 election will go is being felt via the social media, which of course is another yardstick to measure the popularity of candidates vying for an elective position.
Just about two days ago, a popular newspaper conducted a poll and reported that over 53 percent would not want Buhari to win in 2019 but it must be noted here that Nigeria’s polls are not won on the social media platform.
The media can only influence, it cannot dictate how and where the pendulum swings as it happens in some developed countries. As a matter of fact, the media projection failed in the last US election in which Donald Trump won.
The public opinion as projected by most US media showed that Hillary Clinton would win the election but it turned out to be the other way round.
As Nigeria warms up for the 2019 general election, one thing that is so crucial to define the future of the poll is social media. The players know and besides rolling out cash, the political parties are making frantic effort to be present on social media.
On Saturday, the twitter handle of the APC was hacked but the party denied that the platform in question ever belonged to it.
Even when the manager of the platform confirmed that the APC twitter account had been hacked, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi said it was a case of impersonation, that the APC never have such a platform.
To clear the air, the party made public its new social media accounts at www.officialapcng.com for his website.
Abdullahi said the APC Twitter handle is https://twitter.com/OfficialAPCNg
The other social media accounts of the ruling party are: Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/officialapcng/