After several delays, most of the elections for Nigeria’s National Assembly took place Saturday, with the remaining 15 percent scheduled for April 26. “The vote widely took place without the intimidation and rigging seen in previous polls, though bombings struck the country’s northeast,” the AP reported. The opposition party made gains, including taking the seat of House of Representatives Speaker Dimeji Bankole, suggesting that this was a fairer election, the AP said.
IT professional Amara Nwankpa used Twitter to bring information about polling places, voter registration and other election topics to his 4,910 followers. Nwankpa described himself in a tweet saying, “I dont know if I'm an activist. I'm just a young, IT professional who desires gd [sic] governance & consistent electricity desperately.” Nigeria has 42 million Internet users, the most in Africa, according to CNN.
“What we’re doing is essentially encouraging young people to participate and do the right things,” Nwankpa said of his role in the elections to CNN’s Christian Purefoy. Past elections in Nigeria have been marred by violence, with this year following the same trend before the voting began, CNN reports.
After the jump, read some of Nwankpa’s tweets and watch him action.
Nwankpa uses Twitter to find out whether there is violence near polling places ...
#NigeriaDecides Terror strikes on eve of NASS elections - Bomb explodes at INEC Office in Suleja. No details on casualties yet
To give election projections ...
And to provide interesting facts.
Twitter and other social media tools have been playing an increasingly important role in politics worldwide. Egyptians used Twitter to get information about the recent protests that successfully ousted Hosni Mubarak. The Post’s William Wan recently wrote about Facebook’s changing role in post-revolution Egypt, and Elizabeth Flock gave examples of informational tweets from Friday’s “Day of Justice and Cleansing” protest. During Iran’s 2009 elections, Twitter was dubbed “the medium of the movement” by Time magazine.
To read more about Nigeria’s election issues, go here.
By 09:26 AM ET, 04/11/2011