The former chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has urged political parties to use social media to create awareness on their policies and programmes rather than misinform the electorate.
Jega who said this at the presentation of key findings of a UK-Nigerian research team on the role of WhatsApp in Nigeria’s 2019 elections on Monday in Abuja, added that social media could be used as an agent of growth and development.
However, according to him, “lots of people abuse and misuse it.
“The key challenge is how to understand how to put it to good use whether for political mobilisation, civil or political education by sharing credible news rather than fake news.
“This research basically tried to help us understand how Nigerians are using WhatsApp as a platform for either electioneering campaigns or for general political activities.
“I think it is good to begin to pay greater attention to WhatsApp and do more research on the bad uses and good uses of social media and how we can improve on the food ones.
“I will like to see a situation where increasingly credible news are used on the platform rather than fake news and political parties and candidates can use these platforms to publicise their policies and programmes and what they can do rather than use it in a manner in which they abuse opponents,’’ he said.
He further added that it is imperative that politicians use social media for good deeds to add value to Nigeria’s political space.