• Sun. May 26th, 2024

New Book “Cyber Politics” Analyzes Social Media’s Impact On Nigeria’s 2015 Elections And Beyond

ByHybrid News

Apr 21, 2024

The scholarly landscape of political communication has received a significant boost with the publication of Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan’s “Cyber Politics: Social Media, Social Demography, and Voting Behaviour in Nigeria.” This book, arising from extensive research into the 2015 presidential elections in Nigeria, was prominently featured during a special book reading and review session held at the University of Ibadan on April 19, 2024. Dr. Ibietan, an esteemed staff member of the Nigerian Communications Commission, brings to light the transformative effects of social media on political engagement and election dynamics within the African context.

Dr. Ibietan’s research marks a significant step forward in understanding the modern electoral environment, particularly through the prism of social media’s impact on voter behavior and election outcomes. His analysis reveals how platforms like Facebook and Twitter have not only mobilized voters but also dramatically reshaped strategies for political campaigns. The 2015 Nigerian presidential election serves as a central case study where social media’s influence was decisively evident, helping to shift the electoral advantage toward the then-political opposition.

One of the critical contributions of “Cyber Politics” is the introduction of the Channel-Factor Model of communication, a theoretical framework that integrates various social, demographic, and media influences on political communication. This model helps explain the mechanics behind message dissemination and voter influence in the digital age, offering a novel approach for academics and practitioners looking to understand or leverage social media in political contexts.

The book has garnered high praise from the academic community for its methodological rigor and comprehensive coverage of an underexplored field. Prof. Umaru A. Pate, President of the Association of Communication Scholars and Professionals of Nigeria, and Vice Chancellor of Federal University, Kashere, endorsed the book at its presentation, highlighting its utility for students and political practitioners. He commended Dr. Ibietan for “providing essential insights that bridge theoretical knowledge and practical application in political campaigns and governance.”

The implications of Dr. Ibietan’s findings extend beyond Nigeria, offering valuable lessons for other emerging democracies experiencing similar technological transformations. The book’s analysis suggests that as more of the electorate becomes digitally engaged, traditional methods of political communication and campaigning may need to be reevaluated to better align with the changing dynamics of voter interaction and information consumption.

Further endorsing the book, Prof. Peter Esuh, Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies at the University of Uyo, described it as a “significant addition to ongoing discourse on the influence of technological advancements on societal progress.” He noted the importance of adapting to demographic trends and adopting new communication technologies to foster political change and engagement effectively.

In conclusion, “Cyber Politics: Social Media, Social Demography, and Voting Behaviour in Nigeria” by Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan not only enriches the academic discourse surrounding political communication but also serves as a critical resource for understanding and navigating the complex interplay between technology and politics in contemporary society.

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