The development of new systems of political communication in Nigeria with particular reference to the 1983 general elections
This study deals with the development of political communication in Nigeria, from the colonial, independence and post-colonial periods. Also background information is given on the political communication systems in the precolonial period. It is argued that the patterns of pre-colonial systems still persist, particulary in the rural areas of Nigeria. Hence, the thesis undertakes to examine in detail, the political communication relationships between 'two separate but relatively autonomous environments in Nigeria with particular reference to the 1983 general elections. The thesis is divided into two parts. The first is a historical theoretical and methodological - analysis of politics and communication in Nigeria and the second a specific study of the 1983 general elections. The first chapter analyses the classical conceptions of political development and the development of political communication. The classical models are discussed and defined in three main stages: traditional, transitional, and modern nation-state. Chapter Two examines the pclitical communication trends that have led to the assumption that modern communication systems are all powerful politically. This leads to my analysis, criticisms and rejeciton of the linear model of communication development. Following my rejection, of the linear model, I suggested a theoretical and methodological framework for this study. Chapter Three looks at the structure of political and communication systems in the precolonial Nigeria. Kinship and religion are established as the mechanisms of sociopolitical and economic relationships in the pre-colonial period. Chapter Four centres on the impact of colonial administration on the precolonial institutions and the development of party politics, Christian religion and western education. Chapters Five and Six analyse the development of mass media and their relationship to different groups. Chapter Seven critically evaluates the political role of mass media as factors that influence electorates' political opinion. Part two presents an empirical analysis of the 1983 general elections with particular reference to Imo State. Under it, Chapter Eight sets out the method of the research. Major problems encountered in the fieldwork and how they were solved are stated. Chapters Nine, Ten, Eleven and Twelve establish the characteristics and attributes of five groups of participants, their membership of voluntary organisations, their political participation and relationship to channels of communication respectively. In Chapter Thirteen political issues are discussed in relation to voters' views. Ln Chapter Fourteens the relationship between the mass media, political personalities and issues are examined. Finally Chapter Fifteen attempts to assess the role and direction of political communication development in Nigeria today - Some suggestions are made as regards to the most useful approach to political communication in Nigeria.