Public opinion as the name suggests, may be seen as a collective view of citizens of a country towards a particular national issue that concerns their well beings .the import of this is to reach a consensus of the entire people living in the country or state at any given point in time .This public opinion becomes a crucial issue of discourse, because the world is gradually turning into a global village. Where the wishes of the majority is to be done. As a result of the fact that people has embraced democracy as the best form of government. It would be also important to note that the government might throw up a very sensitive issue to its populous to look into.
This has once happened in the history of Nigeria, during the regime of Ibrahim babangida, When it was argued if Nigeria should go to I.M.F, ( international monetary fund) for loan, after citizens expressed their views it was agreed that Nigeria should request for it .That is a pure and typical example of public opinion.
SOME FEW FEATURES OF PUBLIC OPINION.
Public opinion deals basically on opinion shared by citizens, and that been the reason why citizens must shun all forms of political apathy ,as I posited in my previous lesson on the dangers of political apathy .in other to be abreast of national issues.
Secondly, public opinion talks about specific issue .take for example, the agitation of Biafra by igbos, is a national issue , so for the government of the day to ascertain the minds of Nigerians , it will have to organize public opinion poll either by mass media , radio, television or referendum.
Someone might ask, how can public opinion be formed ?
The means through which the government can form public opinion are numerous, but let’s look at the basic ones that were more familiar with.
Mass media .
Through pressure groups.
Symposia and lectures, among others.
Public opinion helps the government a lot as it gives them direction on what the citizens expects from them. So it’s advisable that we express our stands on vital issues that concerns our well being .