THE ROLE OF RADIO IN MOBILISING NIGERIAN WOMEN INTO POLITICS

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THE ROLE OF RADIO IN MOBILISING NIGERIAN WOMEN INTO POLITICS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

This study, the role of radio in mobilizing Nigerian women into politics will look into the role played by radio as a medium of mass
communication in galvanizing and preparing Nigerian women into politics especially towards participating in this on going
transition programme.
There are so many other communication media like the festival, gongs, drums, and town crier. But in view of how the channels
could be used in performing the role of mobilizing Nigerian women into politics, radio is more effective in getting messages to its
target audience (Nigerian women). Though the magazine and newspaper, for their non-transient feature would have helped, but
it is found difficult for women to afford it. In fact average Nigerian women can not afford to spend their income in buying
newspaper and magazines just to get political information. Hence radio could be used as last and best resort to reach Nigerian
women in case of wide reach and transcend language problem/literacy problem. This why during one of her lectures Mrs. Ukozor
stressed that through integration, mass media can turn the whole world into a “global village”. Radio as a mass media does the
same work.
Also Television is a very expensive communication gadget that cannot be afforded by every family in Nigeria.
A set of traditional communication system cannot work for the nation because of so many ethnic groups in Nigeria. There is no
unification of traditional communication system in Nigeria. Many Nigerian women are living in urbanization so it is ineffective to
disseminate political information to women through the use the traditional communication media system.
Elelstan A.G. (2000) in his study about audiences concluded that the audiences evaluated sources of information in terms of
content, television in breath of perception and radio in availability.
Hence radio for its availability characteristics is always handy to these women.
Again N. Akpan (1999) in mass communication in Nigeria. Book of reading (ed) (Nwuneli) says that the public is entitled to all facts
in a political situation and that of the basis of those facts; it can make its decision. Therefore these women if informed about
political news tend to be politically aware.
Introduction to mass communication (Agee, Warrant, Kendall) by Noelle Neumann (1985) says that “real life is different from
laboratory controlled studies, the media are so ambiguous that it is difficult for a person to escape a massage. Repetitive
massages have reinforced impact and news stories are so much the same that there is few option for selective perception.
However, the media for its agenda setting role and using radio to disseminate information repeatedly about politics. These
Nigerian women tend to be influenced by listening to these repetitive political messages, hence develop the habit of liking
politics.
The mass media generally perform six conventional functions to the audience. They are education, information, entertainment,
socialization, survellant, and cultural transmission. Ben Agbo stated these roles during his lecture with year two students (2004).
Radio as a medium generally performs the same role; radio uses these roles in mobilizing Nigerian women into politics.
According to Edwin Ude (HOD) during his lectures with the class while in ND1, the ‘Radio reaches places where television cannot
reach. The cities, even the rural areas feel the power of this medium. No wonder old men and women don’t joke with their battery
radio. Radio as a mass medium-collect, store, process and disseminate political information, which the Nigeria women require.
The radio as entertainment channel entertains Nigerian women through the chips of information and political giggles in the radio.
Entertainment gives by radio to Nigerian women these women on doing their work easily, fast and simultaneously with radio
entertainment. Women also memorize these political giggles and sing them in other to relieve boredom.
The socialization need of the radio agree with the Nigerian women on a particular candidate or politician to vote for. Radio
exposes every thing concerning a candidate and then the audience (Nigerian women) will then accept the person they want.
Thereby making this women to socialize in the community ‘they are.
The radio as surveillance channel, here the radio plays the role of watchdog. According to Ben Agbo during his lectures with your
one students (2003) “states that watch dog role of the press is and adversarial to the government”. This is in effect that radios
investigate the candidate very well and watch the present government for the betterment of the country.
Radio promotes culture of the country. It is through radio that you will hear about the culture of almost all Nigeria ethnic groups.
In radio you will hear certain programmes that are done in so many languages. In fact different language in communities like Udi
ndee, Awgu unu ejee, Onitcha ado ndonuoo, Awka demenu. During such programmes radio announces the political aspirants and
people that have high post in the government.
Introduction to mass communication states that the media also help in the development of culture by awakening and stimulating
the imagination and aesthetic creativity of individuals, thus leading to the precaution of cultural air facts. Radio, “As a medium
disseminate cultural and artistic products for the purpose of preserving the past heritage of the people. The status conferral is
another role of the radio that is when radio confers status and legitimacy on political leader and issue. Here radio is setting the
political agenda for the Nigerian women by deciding what political topics Nigeria women talk about.
According to sandman et all (1976). The editorial decision that a particular event is not news is a self-fulfilling judgment; if the
news media ignore it, then it cannot be news. Conversely, any event given major play in the mass media becomes by definition of
a major event… In this sense, even when the media do not tell us what to think, they tell us what to think about.
An example is what we have in the network news. The NTA Network and other daily’s has been announcing how powerful Dr. Dora
Akunyili (Mrs.) is, such kind of announcement raises high the women status and inspire Nigerian women into politics. Dr. Dora
Akunyili is the present Director General NAFDAC.
The researcher had an interview with the former chairman of Nkanu West Local Government Mrs. Evelyn Chukwu about what
motivated her into politics. Mrs. Chukwu said that she got motivated from the various political messages she hears from the radio
about the on going political campaign.
‘She went further to say that women who came to vote for her during the election proper, got mobilized during her political
campaign through the radio, and felt that her position or a change in government will bring them a radical development change.
The enemas turn up of female voters made her to win.
Meanwhile, this study will look into the critics of radio credibility about radio information; especially of political news messages.
This aside it will also tackle the various critics why women since the inception of Nigerian independence (1960s) and Nigerian
political eras have been showing head above the water to compete with the male counterparts in Nigerian politics.

1.2 THE STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

All over the world, the media have been regarded as veritable tools of political socialization and mobilization. Among the
developing countries especially, radio has been singled out as the most veritable tool of mobilizing people into action be it
politics, developmental progammes etc.
n Nigeria, both before and aer she gained independence; women have not been fully taking part in the political game of the
country. The very few women that are particularly conscious, according to chief Mrs. Ebun, Oyaghola, minister of national
planning (1992) in her address to the intra parliamentary “Have contributed to the event handing over of power to people and will
always be remembered as some of the pioneering landmark of the great journey to political independence by this great nation”.
Some other women that participated in politics include Chief Mrs. Ramson Anikulaopo Kuti, Mrs. Margret Ekpo, Mrs,. Elizabeth
Okaro, Prof. Ikeji Ani clark and other women of substance that have participated in politics.
The status conferral media especially the radio have been identified to be responsible for their inspiration, motivation and
mobilization.
It is in tight of this political apathy among Nigerian women that the researcher wants to find out the following research problems.

OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

i. The objective of the study will focus on finding out the role of radio in mobilizing Nigerian women for political
participation in the country.
ii. To find out how Nigerian women radio listeners views political information/messages.
iii. To find out why some Nigerian women are suffering political apathy.
iv. To find out the medium Nigerian women prefer getting their political information from.
v. To find out how Nigerian women that are exposed to political news are influenced into political participation.
vi. To find out the medium that are most accessible to Nigerian women.

1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

It is expected that aer this study, Nigerian radio broadcasters will know the best techniques involved in packaging political
information that will be able to catalyze, stimulate, mobilize, and inspire Nigerian women into participating in politics.
Also the study will be of relevance to students, studying communication and its paradigms because, it will enrich their knowledge
in determining how to disseminate political information and get effective feed backs from Nigerian women, especially when they go into the labour
market.
Lectures will also benefit from this study because, the areas and ways that students need to be though about how to package
political information will be made clear in the study.
In all, the study will be of relevance to the government because it will make a policy statement on the need for adequate funding
for radio station, as the most veritable tool or medium of mobilizing women into politics.

1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Do Nigerian women get most of their political information from radio more than any other medium?

Do Nigerian women prefer political news from radio to news they get from opinion leaders?

How does exposure to political news influence women on their opinion formation in Nigerian politics?

Does objectivity of reporting aect the listener ship of radio political information?

Do the Nigerian women have access to radio than other medium of communication?

1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

H1 Nigerian women tend to be getting more of their political information from radio than any other medium of communication?
H0 There is no difference? Between radio and other medium as a source of political information to women.
H2 Nigerian women tend to prefer political news from radio to political news from opinion leaders.
H0 There is no difference on the Nigerian women’s preference of political information from either radio or opinion leader.
H3 Women w
Ho are exposed to political news tend to be more influenced than those not exposed in political opinion formation.
H0 There is no difference between those exposed to political news and those not exposed in political opinion formation.
H4 Radio tends to be more accessible to Nigerian women than any other medium of communication.
H0 There is no difference between the accessibility of radio and other mass communication channels to Nigerian women.

1.7 THE SCOPE OF STUDY

The study shall treat only the role of radio in mobilizing Nigerian women into participation in politics. The study is a very wide one
that comprises the whole of Nigerian women.
It is limited geographically to four main areas in Enugu because of financial problem, lack of time and inadequate material, I can
not cover the whole states in Nigeria.
In effect four main areas to be covered are Mgbidi-Awgu, Amechi Awkunanaw, Obeagu, and Independence layout Enugu.
These areas shall constitute the researcher’s sample population in each of these for areas represents almost the whole of Nigerian
women.

THE ROLE OF RADIO IN MOBILISING NIGERIAN WOMEN INTO POLITICS

THE ROLE OF RADIO IN MOBILISING NIGERIAN WOMEN INTO POLITICS