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PROPAGANDA MISINFORMATION AND DEBRIEFING ANALYTICAL PERSPECTIVE IN NIGERIA POLITICS: THE USE OF PROPAGANDA AND ITS INFLUENCE ON THE PEOPLE
1.1 Background to the Study
From a general perspective, political behaviour is influenced by several factors. Indeed, Miler (1992) has noted that there is no such thing as a free choice in politics, that people’s preferences are influenced and conditioned by the social and political context in which they live. Besides, their political actions are distinct from their preferences. Invariably, “political behaviour depends upon the interaction between personal preferences and the political context, since institutional incentives and constraints affect the translation of preferences into action” (Obayelu, 2007:142). These factors operate on political behaviour from three dimensions, namely social characteristics, inherent social characteristics and environmental factors.
The word Propaganda itself used to be a respectable term, originally meaning the spreading of good news. When Goebbels, Hitler and other Fascists began to use the word to describe their promotional activities, propaganda started its slide into disrepute. Today propaganda is associated with the insidious and subversive means of moving a person to predetermined ends (Danziger, 1998).
Common media for transmitting propaganda messages include news reports, government reports, historical revision, junk science, books, leaflets, movies, radio, television, and posters. In the case of radio and television, propaganda can exist on news, current-affairs or talk-show segments, as advertising or public-service announce "spots" or as long-running advertorials. The uses of language of propaganda in campaigns often follow a strategic transmission pattern to indoctrinate the target group. This may begin with a simple transmission such as a leaflet dropped from a plane or an advertisement. Generally these messages will contain directions on how to obtain more information, via a web site, hot line, radio program, etc. The strategy intends to initiate the individual from information recipient to information seeker through reinforcement, and then from information seeker to opinion leader through indoctrination. What seems to be very important in any political campaign is the ‘message’ that is sent to the electorates. A campaign message is an important and potent tool that politicians use to express views and feelings to the public with the intention of reshaping and redirecting the electorates’ opinions to align with theirs with the use of language of propaganda. The message should be a simple statement that can be repeated severally throughout the campaign period to persuade the target audience or influence voters’ act in the candidates’ favour and describes the opposition in bad light. The campaign message ought to contain the salient ingredients that the candidate wishes to share with the voters and these must be repeated often in order to create a lasting impression on the voters. Propagandais the expression of opinions or actions carried out deliberately by individuals or groups with a view to influence the opinions or actions of other individuals or groups for predetermined ends through psychological manipulations (Jacque, 1965). It is usually repeated and dispersed over a wide range of media in order to stimulate and sensitize the electorates and by extension, assist in harming an opponent.
Persuasion is a process by which someone, usually by reasoned arguments or logic, appeal to sound judgment in order to attain his set goals. A persuasive language soothes the voters particularly, when topics or issues that revolve around problems that affect voters are repeatedly mentioned in the course of the campaign. It also follows that the language of political campaign embodied in propaganda and rhetoric, is persuasive because most politicians adopt these linguistic devices to cajole the electorates to vote for them and their political parties by presenting themselves as the only capable individuals for the position (Omozuwa and Ezejideaku, 2007).
1.2 Statement of the 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 (2015:19), “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.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main objective of the study was to examine propaganda misinformation and debriefing analytical perspective in Nigeria politics: the use of propaganda and its influence on the people while the specific objectives were:
To examine the effect of propaganda misinformation on the voting behivour of the masses
To examine the effect of propaganda misinformation on the participation in voting during elections of the masses
To examine the effect of propaganda misinformation on the participation in political campaigning of the masses
1.4 Research Questions
What is the effect of propaganda misinformation on the voting behivour of the masses
What is the effect of propaganda misinformation on the participation in voting during elections of the masses
What is the effect of propaganda misinformation on the participation in political campaigning of the masses
There is significant of propaganda misinformation on the voting behivour of the masses
There is significant of propaganda misinformation on the participation in voting during elections of the masses
There is significant of propaganda misinformation on the participation in political campaigning of the masses
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study of this nature will be of immense benefits to politicians, especially, the public office holders who normally use abusive words during electioneering campaigns as well as make false promises to the citizens. This study will also serve as literature (reference) source to students, individuals and the entire public who wish to carry out further research on propaganda in politics in Nigeria.
1.7 Scope of the Study
1.8 Limitation of the Study
In every research work, it is likely that the researcher may encounter some limitations. The researcher encountered some challenges during the period of carrying out this research. Some of these challenges include the dearth of materials for a proper and effective research work constituted a major limitation. Again, how to get the true and required information from the students through questionnaire also constituted a constraint in the study.