1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Electoral propaganda articulates in the same terms as advertising propaganda, its aim is to make an impact on the audience to get their vote in a given campaign. That is, “in essence political propaganda is no different from advertising, the latter concept presupposes to make something known, advertise it, a way of propagating it so as to stimulate demand of goods and services” (Corona, 2011). Electoral propaganda aims at making a given candidate known, or even a party that has been recently created seeking to position itself. It does not intend to just inform using data or proposals, but rather to convince through emotions. According to Corona (2011) targeting the masses, political propaganda intends to exert its influence with emotive effects and not through reasons. Exaggerating the candidates’ qualities and concealing their defects, just like it would happen with products. Political propaganda, made by skilled specialists and foreign advisors, intends to interpret and answer surveys, study different aspects of electoral behaviour, to offer the people what they want to hear. To this end, they make use of a series of persuasion strategies, some of which are more effective than others, since they allow positioning the product better. These strategies appear in the parts of the discourse and the way they are presented. Studying them allows not only understanding how persuasive messages articulate, but also explaining the relation between these propaganda communicative processes and the results at the polls. In Nigeria, politics and the party system are going through a period of distrust, which is why electoral propaganda has to be more solid when it tries to convince and ask for the citizens’ vote. Along with this, the recent electoral reforms have caused a large part of the communicative exchange between political parties and citizenry to occur through the media. This is a big deal, since as Reardon claims “all the forms of communication exert an influence on who we are and what we want to be, they even shape it up. But the forms of communication that invade us the most are the mass media”. The medium with the most impact on the electorate continues to be television, and their star product to attain this rapprochement between candidates and citizens: the spot. This is due to, firstly, the electoral reforms and the change in the rules for this type of advertising on radio and television which condensed electoral advertising in the political spot in Nigeria (Benassini, 2016; Hernández, 2016), and secondly, to the impact these brief products leave on the audience (Orozco, 2008). According to Rodríguez (2013), television has been and still is stronger and stronger; its influence is decisive in different spheres. It is also influential in the relation established between the political candidates and those who elect them. However, there is an evident aspect: television helps the democratic system by bringing the leaders closer to the citizens. Without the cameras, this contact would not be better or worse. In most cases it would simply not exist. It should also be considered that this phenomenon is changing and that the use of social networks is taking over the political debate ever more strongly. However, this transition has not yet completely materialized in Nigeria due to the fact that the access gaps continue to leave out the majority of the population. This fact reinforces the need to analyze the way in which television has taken part of the campaigns, through the broadcast of electoral spots. In the near future, this would allow comparing these strategies with the ones suggested by the social networks, which still have not replaced, but rather complement, those of television.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Propaganda is a form of communication, often biased or misleading in its nature and aimed at influencing the attitude of the population toward some cause, position or political agenda. The role language plays during political campaign is persuading people to vote during the election. This is also known as rhetoric. According to Bitzer (1981) in Owuamalam (2015), “political rhetoric serves the art of politics at every turn, both as a mode of thought and as an instrument of expression and action.” This view explains why the political commercial is conceived to propagate a political idea as an expression that is expected to influence political action in the electorate, through voting at elections. Words perform actions! Language and in fact words have different functions and according to the speech act theory of J.L Austin, utterances both written and spoken have a particular effect it should have on the hearer. Many researchers have written on political campaign speeches and a universal trend in them-propaganda in Nigeria. For instance, Opeibi (2006) worked on “Political Marketing or Political ‘Machetting’?” in which he brilliantly concludes that political hopefuls in Nigeria focus more on promoting themselves and orchestrating “attacks on their opponents” rather than enamouring positive issues of national interest. He attributes this phenomenon to factors such as level of education of voters, political literacy, content and structure of the adverts, personality of the sponsor (and/or the political candidate), among others. He also examines the structure and functions of language use in campaign adverts. He classifies political campaign adverts into three. The first is positive advert, which focuses only on the merits of the candidate; the second is contrast advert, which, apart from highlighting the positive side of the candidate, also discredits the other opponent(s).The negative advert, which is the third category, sets out to attack the opponent(s) in full force.
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine propaganda and electioneering in Nigeria. Other general objectives of the study are:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: There is no significant impact of propaganda on electioneering in Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant impact of propaganda on electioneering in Nigeria.
H0: There is no significant relationship between propaganda and effective electioneering in Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant relationship between propaganda and effective electioneering in Nigeria
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is necessitated by the urge and the need for the research, reader and organizations in general to understand the effect of propaganda on electioneering in Nigeria.
The following are the significance of study to the researcher:
1. To serve as a reference materials for students who will wish to conduct similar studies on this topic.
2. To serve as guide to corporate individuals, organization in furtherance to their research on the subject matter.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on propaganda and electioneering in Nigeria using Benue state as a case study.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Propaganda: According to Oyeneye (2008) professor Calvin Coolidge (1964) as saying that propaganda seeks to present part of the facts, to distort their relations , and to force conclusion which could not be drawn from a complete and candid survey of all the facts.
Election: This is an act of choosing a representative or the holder of a particular office usually by ballot. Electorate refers to the whole body of persons, who have the right to vote in a country or area. Electioneering is the corresponding adjective of the noun election. It refers to the activities of making speeches and visiting people to try to persuade them to vote for a particular politician or a political party. The People in a country or in a country or an area, who have the right to vote,
Politics: Politics has no universal definition but has been defined by different scholars from their respective points of view. According to F.A.C Aramere (2013), politics is the struggle for political power and the use of that power to the acquisition of other values. Power is therefore the central focus of politics.
OTHER SIMILAR POLITICAL SCIENCE PROJECTS AND MATERIALS