An Analysis of the Influence of Radio Political Campaign Messages on Voters’ Electoral Behavior in Kano, Nigeria

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

Department of Social Communications, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

This paper will examine the influence of radio political campaign messages on the electorates’ voting behavior in Kano – Nigeria, with a focus on the 2015 general elections. It seeks to ascertain the extent that the electorates in Kano – Nigeria were exposed to radio political campaign messages, as well as the extent to which such messages influenced their voting decisions. Equally, the study claims that Kano people are religiously and ethnically attached to their leaders. Accordingly, the paper seeks to determine whether or not there is relationship between radio political campaign messages; interference of the opinion leaders on the voters’ behavior leading to turn out into participating during the elections; and the outcome of the elections result. To achieve this, the paper offers the survey method with the questionnaire as research instrument. Through multi-stage sampling, 435 respondents were selected in the nine (9) local government areas, three (3) each from the three senatorial districts in Kano and administered the questionnaire. We launched this research on the premise of multi-step flow of communication theory. The findings indicate, among other things, that the majority (90.0%) of electorates in Kano were exposed to political campaign messages on radio. Explaining further, respondents (58.3%) said they listen to political party related campaigns and were influenced by them while casting their ballot. The findings further revealed that respondents (65.5%) were influenced by opinion leaders in their choice of political parties or candidates during elections as they perceived their advice/instruction as credible. In light of the findings, it was concluded that political campaign messages aired by local radio stations were an essential factor in the political decisions of the electorates in Kano. Similarly, it was recommended that producers of political campaign messages should make optimum use of their right sense of judgment in packaging their messages to avoid deception on voters. And, that opinion leaders while interpreting the messages to opinion followers should always check the reality or otherwise of the messages produced by parties and candidates to avoid misleading their followers.

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