Mobilizing Nigerian youths for active political engagements through social media: Examining the veracity of Facebook and WhatsApp in the 2019 general elections
Background: Ever since, social media platforms have emerged to be viable tools of political engagement around the world. Since, Nigeria is stepping up to the current wave and leading in the internet penetration metrics in Africa, it is therefore very important to study how social media platforms have affected the election process.
Objectives: This work examined the veracity of Facebook and WhatsApp as tools for mobilizing the youths for active political engagements in Nigeria.
Methodology: The survey method was applied and a sample of 385 was derived from official numbers of eligible voters in Lagos for the 2019 Election. The questionnaire was the primary instrument used to generate response from respondents.
Results: The results revealed that both Facebook and WhatsApp were frequently used during the 2019 general election, and the majority of the youths were exposed to the various messages during the election period, leading to 91% of the respondent agreeing that Facebook and WhatsApp were useful tools for youth mobilization. Also, the hypothesis testing, the Pearson Chi-square value of 0.000 (at P ≤ 0.05 levels of significance), rejected the null hypothesis and affirmed that the use of social media to mobilize youths during elections is significant.
Conclusion: It has become an undeniable fact that the political future of Nigeria rests on the shoulders of the youths, it only when the young population participate in the political and election activities that Nigeria can truly experience true democracy.
Unique Contribution: This study has provided evidence that social media is useful and very effective for youth mobilization during elections.
Key recommendation: The study therefore recommended, among others, that all political actors and stakeholders should take advantage of the new technologies to improve and encourage youth participation.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Ogbemudia Peter Michael et al.,
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