Cultural differences, limited economic ties and negative stereotypes about Africa and Nigeria have been identified as major factors responsible for the lack of interest in Nigerian politics among Americans.
This was contained in a survey with the theme, ‘American disinterest in Nigerian politics: The glaring picture’, conducted by Market Trend International (MTI), a research agency.
The survey aimed to enquire into the interests of the Nigerian political space by citizens of the United States, particularly with regard to the recently conducted presidential elections held on the 25th of February 2023.
The review therefore reads: “Utilising a nationwide sample spread across the following US regions- Northeast, Midwest, west, and South, a total number of 1003 respondents participated in the survey. Aside from eliciting demographic responses, the survey also required respondents to indicate whether they believed the national elections held in Nigeria in February were free and democratic or not; and if they had a good opinion, a bad opinion or an indifferent one about the newly elected President.
“One glaring ‘picture’ resonating with the chart above is the exceeding rate of “I don’t know” responses given to both questions regardless of region, age group, gender split, number of children, educational status, household income, among others thereby rendering the survey’s findings inconclusive.
“Despite Nigeria being the most populous country in Africa and having so much potential for growth and development, it is surprising to note that the United States does not prioritise such countries as much as others due to the lack of direct impact on national security and economic interests.”
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Describing the lack of awareness and understanding among Americans about Nigerian politics as an issue that needs to be addressed, the survey said: “It is important to find ways to increase public awareness and understanding of political developments in Nigeria, such as through educational programmes and media coverage”.
On the other hand, it stressed the need for the media to give much attention to Nigerian politics. He added that such an effort would create more awareness about Nigerian politics among the citizens of other nations.