The study is geared toward finding out the role of vision Africa radio umuahia on political mobilization of rural dweller in umuahia north local government area. For this study, five rural villages in umuahia north local government area were studied. The importance of radio as the most mobilization media was universally acknowledged. This research project used survey research and its primary source of data collection for the study is the questionnaire which is formed from three main research questions. Data collected were analyzed and interpreted. The findings revealed that a lesser extent of exposure to radio affects people’s voting pattern. In this democratic era, rural dwellers need political, educational awareness and enlightenment. It is further recommended that the government should therefore ensure that all the media of communication are made available.
1. Background of the Study
This study will delve into an in-depth performance of vision Africa radio in the political mobilization of rural dwellers in umuahia north local government area of abia state. The determination of the role of this radio in mobilizing rural dwellers for political issues will need an in-depth treatment or be treated with extreme care. However, the exhaustive treatment should involve preparation of appropriate political programmes and strategy towards meeting the needs of these rural dwellers.
The role of radio medium in political mobilization in the annulled of 1973 presidential election is one of the greatest changes facing the electorates in especially in rural areas, because Nigeria electorates especially in recent years have always been intensely individualistic, hence political parties will always confront profound cultural differences. Given the cultural structure of the Nigeria electorates, the importance of radio programmes cannot be over emphasized. This also is a typical case of election malpractice that has been the lot of Nigeria election.
Radio on its part is an electronic medium with sounds and audio. It is not effective spontaneous message carrier of those times. Its consistency brings to the masses, especially the rural dwellers, account of events making it the number one when compared to any other medium. Admittedly, radio is relatively cheap and can operate without electricity; it also satisfies curiosity by allowing one hear for oneself is not just an
overstatement. Again its ability to disseminate information in our various dialects as it also serves as a tonic to language barrier through the stations.
Radio as an integral part of the fourth estate of the realm, through various stations such as vision Africa is expected as usual to play its traditional role as a watch dog of the society and as agent of change. In rural areas advertisement role on political trend inspires responsiveness to the medium and has become a major feature of campaigns for public office seeker at national, state, and local government levels. Most rural dwellers in umuahia north local government are known to be financially poor because their low education status and they cannot afford radio set. This has often been a problem to efficient and effective use of radio in achieving political mobilization in rural areas.
All things being equal, the term, vision Africa radio umuahia and political mobilization refers to all kinds of political services rendered to the populace to bring about information, education, entertainment and influence to the rural dwellers. Apart from these general role, it enhances and encourages through its various programmes the acquisition and pursuit of knowledge thereby promoting national consciousness and acts as a powerful means of social mobilization.
1. Uses of Radio:
Radio has many uses other than broadcasting programmes at the home for example schools, business, hospitals, farms, market etc and many other organizations use closed circuit radio. Since the late 1970s, such equipment as audio cassette, recorder, audio disc players and personal recorders have changed the way people use radio in their homes to
listen to various programmes on the station. Considering the fact that radio (vision Africa) is not the only means of communication, let us have an overview of the various media of communication.
11. Assessment of the Various Media:
Radio, television, magazines, pamphlets, posters, brochures and visual-audio aids are important media for conveying information simultaneously to a large population. They easily open the eyes of the people to the fact of mobilization. Radio especially, can reach people and be effectively used in many countries as instrument of mobilization.
An overview of the assessment reveals to us that upon the benefits according to each of these media, there are loopholes which stop them from doing perfectly the work they are meant for considering these loopholes; one may be tempted to ask what the feature of radio is?
History of Radio
Accordingly, nwogbunyan (2006:125) noted that in 1860 Maxwell predicted the existence of radio walls in 1895; Marconi transmitted radio signals for a short distance and at the turn of the century conducted successful trans-Atlantic tests.
The new communication medium was first known as wireless. The first station was W.B2 spring field, Massa chusset on September 15, 1921(nwogbunyan 2006:126). Broadcasting started in Nigeria with what was referred to as the radio diffusion systems (RDS) or re-diffusion system, introduced by the British colonial government in 1932. In this system Nigeria subscribes received the broadcasts (news and other programmes)
through cable connected to their gramophones. The major reason for establishing RDA was strengthening by economic, political and culturalites with the colonies and all important area of the common wealth.
1958, marked the turning point in the annals of broadcasting in Nigeria with the introduction of an ordinance establishing the Nigeria broadcasting service (N.B.S) the electronic media (wireless and radio transmission) were constituted under the colonial government headed by the governor general, sir James Wilson, Robertson, and assented to in the name of her majesty queen Elizabeth 11. N.B.S was undertaken by the government of the federation and had four major stations at Lagos (national station, Enugu. Eastern station). Ibadan (western station and Kaduna (northern station).
However, in June 01, 1978 the federal government of Nigeria announced the change of the name from Nigeria broadcasting service (N.B.S) to federal radio corporation (FRC) with other stations across the state of the federation.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
Radio is one of the most persuasive and effective medium of mass communication. The problems to investigate is the extent to which radio have influenced umuahia north local government areas dwellers. It is the duty of radio to properly educate, inform, entertain or enlighten as well as mobilize the entire local government area. Though the importance of radio cannot be over emphasized in the third world country like Nigeria. But, it is an important key fact to success as well as avenue for political mobilization. The problems of this research or study are as follows:
What effects have vision Africa radio put to achieve the aim of improving the political mobilization of rural dwellers in umuahia north local government?
1. Are the rural dwellers of umuahia north local government listening to political programmes?
2. Are the rural dwellers participating in political mobilization programmes?
3. Is the government taking political mobilization serious?
These and other questions will be addressed later in the course of study.