TWITTER AND ITS INFLUENCE IN FACILITATING GOOD GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background of the study
Over time, the media has come to be seen as the society's watchdog, with its information/monitoring duties considered a sine qua non for democracy and effective government. In a paradoxical way, one might argue that social media is a 21st-century instrument of mass expression and a society's watch dog; the information generation, distribution, and consumption functions of social media may be considered a sine qua non for democracy and good governance if correctly exploited. In her 1999 constitution, Nigeria, like most other democratic nations, included the concepts of good governance as viable criterion for democratic government. The Internet's development as the new mass medium of the twenty-first century has fundamentally altered the media landscape. As a consequence of the fast speed, cheap cost, and wide scope of information distribution, there is equal access to the creation and consumption of news (Prat and Stromberg, 2011)
Twitter has unique characteristics that distinguish it as a social media platform. The 140-character restriction of Twitter chats influences the style and method of involvement, as mentioned in the introduction. This method of interaction is fundamentally different from that of Facebook, which gives its users more freedom and length than Twitter offers. Twitter has a number of distinct advantages over other social media sites, including media updates, the force of immediacy, and the celebrity cult. Twitter's design makes it more suited for media updates; all it takes is 140 characters and the news is out. The full press releases may be sent later. Second, "the immediacy of Twitter distinguishes it from other social media sites." Users may virtually see, report on, and comment on worldwide events in real time" (Balam, 2017). Twitter also gives celebrities and public figures a simple and quick way to keep people updated (whether it's genuine news or lifestyle news), promote their companies, and get more followers. "This is another another feature that distinguishes Twitter. It is used by a large number of celebrities and public personalities. As a result, Twitter has become the social media platform for celebrities to be followed" (Quora.com, undated). In Nigeria, these three distinct characteristics of Twitter have been leveraged for political discussion. Five Nigerian politicians have celebrity statues on Twitter as of 2014. They are: Reuben Abati, @abati1990 (then spokesman for President Goodluck Jonathan); Nasir El-Rufai, @elrufai (then deputy secretary of the opposition party); Femi Fani-Kayode, @realFFK (controversial politician); Atiku Abubakar, @atiku (former vice president of Nigeria); and Obiageli Ezekwesili, @obyezeks ( (Matuluko, 2014). These people were constantly in the news for political reasons, and since they had a large following, they were more engaged in Twitfights (Matuluko, 2014). Dr. Abati, for example, changed presidential communication in Nigeria when he used his personal Twitter account @abati1990 to break the news of President Jonathan's sacking of government personnel. "Nigeria's President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has just fired his Special Adviser on Political Affairs, Alhaji Ahmed Ali Gulak. The news was made through the presidential spokesman's Twitter account, Dr. Reuben Abati" (Egbunike, 2014). This was not the first time Dr. Abati took use of Twitter's power of immediacy in breaking news from the White House. "On February 20, 2014, Nigerians and the whole world were shook by a tweet by presidential spokesperson, Dr. Reuben Abati, who announced Sanusi's suspension through social media," writes Vincent Nwanma. The news and the channel through which it was transmitted were both fascinating to me and a number of other journalists. That development was a watershed moment in the use of social media for news transmission, particularly for a presidential spokesperson. By opting to tweet the suspension, Abati, a journalist and former head of the Guardian newspaper's editorial board, effectively threw the story into the public domain, leaving journalists scrambling to keep up with the rest of the world. He was the source as well as the one who broke the news. He not only broke the story, but he also kept it up to date with additional information" (Nwanma, Unpublished manuscript, 2012). These examples demonstrate the potential of immediacy that twitter provides, which politicians, political analysts, and engaged Nigerian people take use of. Hence the need to look into the influence of twitter in facilitating good governance in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the problem
The use of social media in politics is, without a doubt, pervasive and shows no signs of slowing down. Furthermore, there is a wealth of research that demonstrates the significance of social media in political movements. The use of social media in electioneering and democratic sustainability utilizing the swot analytical technique has received little attention. Nigeria, Africa's biggest democracy, is a secular and capitalist nation. The administration of one of the world's big events, the election of people's representatives, is involved here. There were over 150,000 voting stations throughout Nigeria during the 2015 general elections(The Nigerian general election of 2015 was the 5th quadrennial election to be conducted since the end of military rule in 1999) (Prat,2011). The electoral roll is a list of everyone who is registered to vote in the constituency. Only individuals whose names appear on the voting list are eligible to vote. The general elections resulted in new leadership in the country's two levels of government. Apart from traditional sources of information such as newspapers, magazines, radio, and television, Twitter was employed as a potential interactive medium. Twitter provided certain politicians with a valuable platform for reaching out to a wide range of voters, particularly young people. The use of biometric card readers disproves the notion that electronically coordinated voting is both conceivable and improvable. It is undeniable that Twitter and other social media platforms have become critical tools for enabling global good governance. It is increasingly establishing itself as a reliable weapon for influencing public opinion and influence. Recognizing the effectiveness of this medium, several Nigerian politicians rapidly embraced it and used it extensively for their political campaigns as well as to inform their voters of their accomplishments (Prat, 2011).
1.3 Objective of the study
The primary objective of the study is as follows
1) To evaluate the role of twitter on creating political awareness in Nigeria.
2) To find out the influence of twitter in calling out corrupt leaders in Nigeria.
3) To find out if twitter is an efficient platform for facilitating for good governance in Nigeria.
4) To compare the advantages of twitter over the other forms of social media for clamoring for good governance in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
The following have been prepared for the study
1. What is the role of twitter on creating political awareness in Nigeria?
2. What is the influence of twitter in calling out corrupt leaders in Nigeria?
3. Is twitter an efficient platform for facilitating for good governance in Nigeria?
4. What is the advantages of twitter over the other forms of social media for clamoring for good governance in Nigeria?
1.5 Significance of the study
This study focuses on the influence of twitter in advocating for good governance. Hence this study will be significant to the Nigerian government as it will see the need to allow twitter be used in the country because of it accessibility and usefulness in sharing news about the state of Nigeria.
This study will be of benefit to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.
1.6 Scope of the study
This study will evaluate the role of twitter on creating political awareness in Nigeria. The study will also find out the influence of twitter in calling out corrupt leaders in Nigeria. This study will further find out if twitter is an efficient platform for facilitating for good governance in Nigeria. Lastly, the study will compare the advantages of twitter over the other forms of social media for clamoring for good governance in Nigeria. Hence this study will be delimited to twitter users in Lagos state.
1.7 Limitation of the study
This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:
just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data
Financial constraint , was faced by the researcher ,in getting relevant materials and in printing and collation of questionnaires
Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher
1.8 Definition of terms
Twitter: websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.