Campaign Communication in Nigeria’s 2019 General Elections: Unfulfilled Party Pledges and Voter Engagement without a Social Contract

Broken campaign promises challenge the sanctity of the electoral process
in Nigeria. Six decades after political independence and six electoral cycles
in the last two decades of the Fourth Republic, there are inadequate legal
frameworks and a lack of political will to change the narrative. Ambushing
the voters with plans of action on the eve of every election remains a constant
ritual to legitimise party campaigns in both digital media and at heavily
mobilised rallies, often with limited substance. The general purpose of this
study is twofold. First, to provide analysis of campaign communication and
the extent to which it influences the participation of citizens in the electoral
process. Second, to investigate the electorate’s understanding of policy issues
inherent in the 2019 election manifestos of the two dominant political parties,
All Progressive Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and
how other elements shape perception and trust in elected representatives/
government. The research design relies on sample surveys and in-depth
interviews, and seeks to identify, within the context of an electoral cycle,
why conversations between public office seekers and voters do not translate
into a concrete social contract or generate time-bound inclusive policies.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: campaign communication, democracy, elections, social contract
journal of african elections vol19 number 2 transparent democratic governance in africa