Social Media And Democratic Governance In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Social Media And Democratic Governance In Nigeria

Table of Content

  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses
  • 4.5 Discussion of Findings

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Media and democracy are somewhat a Siamese twins as the relationship between them is symbiotic in the sense that the condition of the former shape the latter’s. To better put, healthy democracy begets healthy press and vice versa (Oso, 2019; Voltmer, 2016 & Dahlgren 2015). This position was further advance by scholars and media professionals that democracy survival is largely hinged on the virile media particularly in a heterogeneous and diverse communities like Nigeria where issues of diversity is dreading the harmonious coexistence of the various people in the country. Therefore, a deliberative democratic tradition can be pretty handy in managing citizen participation with diverse interest and expectation to come together to forge a consensus for running a country for the benefit of all regardless of any differentiation or leaning (Olorunyomi, 2021).

The instrumental tools that serve as a driving force in forging consensus in Nigeria democracy is the virile media. Olorunyomi writes. “The history of our country democracy from independence, to the return of democracy after decades of military regimes and to the consensus building after civil war can be safely traced to vigorous advocacy of the country’s media.” The country’s mass media have been playing this very important function since the establishment of first newspaper, Iwe Irohin, by Rev. Henry Townsend in Abeokuta in the year 1859 (Santas &Ogoshi, 2016). The media that emerge after the first one that was necessitated by missionary activities were deployed for the quest of self-government and attainment of constitutional democracy in the country. Some of the early paper titles and nationalists that used press as tools for political agitation are: the first president of the country, Dr Nnamdi Azikwe of African pilot, Herbert Macaulay of the Lagos Daily news, Chief Abiola of The National Concord. Others are the Nigerian Tribune by Chief Awolowo while Nigerian Pioneer established by Ajitoye ajayi (Santas & Ogoshi, 2016).

The appreciation of media as veritable tools for political propaganda and manoeuvring in Nigeria was not only done by the nationalists but also the colonial masters deployed press to achieve similar result. Though, Iwe Irohin started as an instrument of missionary activities but later deviated to serve as weapon of political propaganda and shrewd manoeuvring for power in Egbaland (Omu, 1974 cited in Oso, 2021).
Since the late 20th century, and particularly in the beginning of 21st century, the advancements in information and communication infrastructure have revolutionised and liberalised exchange of messages at personal and societal levels. The computer revolutions, software and the Internet development have changed and challenged the conventional traditional media modes of operation. The changes ushered in new opportunities and challenges particularly the social media. Instead of institutional mediation of media messages and conversations which involve careful selection and gatekeeping, social media platforms have taken a completely different paths by giving chance to individuals to engage individuals and communities in a noninstitutional basis and without much gate keeping obtainable in established media organisations.

Media establishment plays a very critical role in any democratisation effort and democratic conversation. In fact, media is often considered the fourth estate of the realm in a democracy after the three arms: executive, legislature and judiciary. Thus, media has been a life wire of democracy irrespective of the geographical location whether it is in Africa, Europe, Americas, or Asia. Same applies to developed or developing democracies.

As noted earlier, the development in information and communication technology has powered the emergence and growth of social media with serious consequences for the conventional media and democracy. Hence, the changes, challenges and opportunities brought about by social media have waxed higher and became pervasive in democracy and democratisation. As freedom of expression is critical in democracy which the traditional media leverages, so are the social media platforms banking on the latitude provided by freedom of expression to advance democracy. Thus, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, YouTube, Tiktok etc. have become very important conversational means through which democratic discourses by citizens, actors and institutions are carried out in all democracies.
According to Spinner (2017), social media can be defined as a form of electronic communication in which users create communities to share information, ideas, and other content via web-based and/or mobile technologies.

In its submission, DPI (2014), views social media as a term that encompasses the assortment of so-called ‘digital’ media which complement and conflict with the traditional media. These media are usually informal, often principally social and are not easily reducible to specific categorisations: much of the content is extremely diverse and even mundane activity can harbour political content. Essentially, this also called ‘New Media’ should be understood as a series of platforms; it encompasses a vast field of digital activity including blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

For time immemorial, due to many factors, including the ‘hegemonic’ nature of communication in Nigeria, people had little opportunity to be active in governance, or make their views heard. However, with improvement in communication technology, the status quo appears to have changed; the use of social media in the gathering and sending of information is a great paradigm shift in media development, as information now arrives fast from astounding number of direction sand feedback enhanced almost immediately (Uji, 2015). The rise in the number of social media users in Nigeria from about 57 million in 2014 to approximately 84 million as at 2018 (Statista, 2018), is about 50 percent of the country’s total population estimated at 180 million and the digital gap closing with smartphones linked to the internet becoming more affordable. Realizing the efficacy of this medium some Nigerians have quickly enhanced it and exploited it extensively as a tool for advancement of democracy and good governance before, during and after elections. However, there is little comprehensive knowledge of social media as a tool for advancement of democracy and good governance and how this form of media has impacted on various aspects of political life.

Some related studies on people use social media for advancement of democracy and good governance have exist. For instance, Vromen, Xenos & Loader (2015) explored how politically active youths engaged social media in their political communications and even established organizations, Segesten & Bossetta (2017) examined how British citizens made use of Twitter to influence youths in the 2023 elections, and Zaheer (2016) used university students in Pakistan to explore the relationship between social media and political participation, Kamau (2017) conducted a study on the role of social networking sites (SNSs) in the political engagement of youths in Kenya, Pap, Ham & Bilandžić (2018) studied how social media usage influence youth’s interest in politics. Therefor this study seeks to explore social media and democratic governance in Nigeria.

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