News / Africa

Social Media Play Big Role in Nigeria’s Elections

Young people use Twitter and Facebook to ask candidates about their policies

Multimedia

Audio

A vibrant and tech savvy youth population is influencing the electoral process in Nigeria. The oil-producing West African nation is holding much anticipated legislative, presidential and gubernatorial elections this month.

With the growing penetration of Internet and telephone technology, the electorate has embraced social media platforms that are becoming increasingly popular around the world. In fact, Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, nicknamed “The Facebook President,” first announced his candidacy on the popular social networking site.

Statistics show that more than 90 million Nigerians own mobile phones and millions more have access to the Internet.

Many Nigerians have used the new technologies to ask the various candidates about their policies, said Tola St. Matthew-Daniel, a Nigerian graduate student in Paris. St. Matthew-Daniel has been involved in a campaign to get Nigerian youth involved in the elections – by using social media to get them to register to vote.

Activism and mobilization of the youth

She recently worked with a coalition of youth groups to organize the first presidential debate to speak to youth issues. Social media are “a game changer,” she said, that have allowed candidates to engage their voter base like never before.

“You had them tweeting about what happened at a press conference…. They uploaded pictures; they commented on things like the weather…. It is something that they are using to stay in tune and in contact with their voting base,” she said.

Fad or revolution?

Many election watchers across the continent realize that social media is not just a fad but a genuine revolution. That may be one reason why media like Facebook were embraced by President Jonathan and his main challenger, Muhammadu Buhari.

African politicians, said St.Matthew-Daniel, “use it to refute misinformation…make campaign announcements…. I think they realize that it’s a new reality.”

Social media are also being used to monitor the electoral process in real time.

“People are turning Facebook and Twitter to give firsthand accounts of their different experiences at polling centers. “People are paying attention to it.” said St. Matthew-Daniel

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid