The Nexus between Social Media Expressions, Political Participation and Nation Building in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume II, Issue XII, December 2018 | ISSN 2454–6186

The Nexus between Social Media Expressions, Political Participation and Nation Building in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic

Yahaya Yakubu

Department of Political Science & Int’l Relations, Nile University of Nigeria

Abstract: – More than over half a century preceding the attainment of independence in Nigeria, the concept of nation building still dominates developmental, political and policy discourse in the polity. The ability of underlying ethnicities and nationalities to shun ethno-nationalism remains a near impossible task. However, the advent of social media and the growth of techno-culture revolutionised social cohesion. The high risk associated with political participant and its expensive nature has been replaced by a more cost effective and all encompassing medium. The study opines while the debate as to the existence of a correlation between social media expression and offline political participation is on-going. Social media has affected political apathy, fostered participation and created a homogenized platform for citizens. Further claiming that social media embodies the rudimental potential to set into motion an alternative process to nation building driven by techno-culture.

Keywords: Political Participation, Nation Building, Online Expressions, Offline Participation and New Media.

I. INTRODUCTION

“National consciousness is nothing but a crude, empty fragile shell. The cracks in it explain how easy it is for young independent countries to switch back from nation to ethnic group and from state to tribe, a regression which is terribly detrimental and prejudicial to the development of the nation and national unity.” Frantz Fanon, (1963, p. XV).

Nigeria like a better part of the colonized world has largely remained unsuccessful in their numerous attempts to build nations off the arbitrary post-colonial states. Six decades preceding independence the region is marred with socio-political and economic challenges, ethnic antagonism, civil wars and a society fragmented by numerous social cleavages. More than often, political entrepreneurs mobilize support through integrative oriented manifestos and campaign slogans. While the term nation-building has been in use for centuries, it remains without precision as to what it entails. There also lies the tendency to interchangeably appropriate it with state-building or formation.

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