So­cial me­dia and the 2019 elec­tions

Sunday Trust - - VIEW POINT - Dike Chuk­wuma wrote from Wuye, Abuja, and can be reached at:chuky­dyk@ya­

The po­lit­i­cal land­scape has changed quite a bit in the last cou­ple of decades. The in­ter­net has played a huge role in this trans­for­ma­tion. So­cial me­dia in­clud­ing, Twit­ter, Face­book and YouTube, in par­tic­u­lar, have played sig­nif­i­cant roles in po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns and has in­deed changed the way peo­ple think about is­sues.

In 2019, so­cial me­dia will pri­mar­ily change the ways in which can­di­dates and par­ties con­duct their cam­paigns. So­cial me­dia will fun­da­men­tally change the way in which cit­i­zens are ex­posed to po­lit­i­cal in­for­ma­tion.

That many Nige­ri­ans have em­braced and are deeply in­volved in the world of so­cial me­dia may be stat­ing the ob­vi­ous and it would be dis­as­trous for politi­cians not to fully em­brace this im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion plat­form. Elec­tion bat­tles are go­ing to be on so­cial me­dia and less at the big rally fronts. There­fore, politi­cians will have to fa­mil­iarise them­selves with so­cial me­dia, make their pres­ence felt and stay en­gaged pos­i­tively with the elec­torate.

As I write, many opin­ion polls are al­ready go­ing on twit­ter and sev­eral other plat­forms on who the next Nige­rian pres­i­dent could be.

The in­ter­est­ing thing about the so­cial me­dia in­te­gra­tion into elec­tions is that it al­lows these elite can­di­dates (politi­cians) to talk di­rectly to the peo­ple. Through this plat­form, they can say what­ever they want to all their fol­low­ers.

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