Social Media, Youth Participation and Activism: An Analysis of the #EndSARS Protests in Nigeria

ABSTRACT: The relationship between social media use and civic participation in a Nigerian context has sparked considerable commentary. The discussion has become more intense following the #Endsars protests in late 2020 by Nigerian youths against police brutality by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad – a unit of the Nigerian police accused of extrajudicial killings, intimidation and human rights abuses. This paper argues that increased social media use by Nigerian youths has also increased youth civic participation, thus necessitating activism. The paper adopts a descriptive and historical approach that draws on secondary sources of data. It concludes that youths are beginning to engage in civic activities beyond the traditional norms of voting to a more justice-oriented sphere by demanding equity and increased involvement in public life using social media.

Keywords: Social media, civic participation, #Endsars, political protest, SARS.

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