Ahead of the 2023 elections, once again the social media gladiators have begun drumming support for their most preferred candidates.
In total, there are 16 political parties in the race led by APC; main opposition PDP; Labour Party, LP; and the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP.
Atiku Abubakar leads the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; Bola Ahmed Tinubu, All Progressives Congress, APC; Peter Obi, Labour Party, LP; and Musa Kwankwaso, New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP.
According to data from google trends, it seems Peter Obi is one of the most searched and talked about candidates. No thanks to the ‘I am OBIdient movement’ that has rented the social media space in support of the Labour Party presidential candidate.
However, analysis of the data shows the searches are coming from the southern states of the country which provides a vivid picture.
Based on the National Bureau of Statistics latest figure, the number of internet subscribers in the South stands at 77 million while the Northern states has 68.5 million.
However, if the presidential election is to be counted based on social media followers, Peter Obi will not be in the top three.
When it comes to social media presence, especially on Twitter, considered the fastest and reliable news source that every political figure or brand tries to exploit and increase its reach, Atiku Abubakar dominates.
StatiSense reports that as at the end of June, Atiku had 4.29 million followers on social media ahead of President Buhari’s 4.14 million followers.
Vice President Osinbajo comes third with 3.84 million, Dino Melaye(3.45m) and Bukola Saraki(2.88m).
Others in the list include Shehu Sani(2.62m) Goodluck Jonathan 1.95m, Ben Murray Bruce 1.85m, Jide Sanwolu(1.70m), Garba Shehu (1.42m) while Peter Obi completes the top 10 most followed politicians in Nigeria with 1.40m.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu has 1.2M, and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso trails with 202.3K followers.
It is important to note that Peter Obi’s media presence is growing rapidly and it added 357k new followers in June.
If Peter Obi is to stand a chance come 2023, he will need the support of at least 15 million real voters at the elections, how this will be achieved remains to be seen.
From the earlier reported google trend search, Peter’s Obi major interest is coming from the South with highest internet subscribers but not voters.
According to the latest update released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the CVR exercise, 10.48 million new registrations have been recorded while 8.63 registrations have been completed as of June 27, 2022.
This means that about 9 million new eligible voters have been added to the country’s voters list which stood at 84 million in 2019.
From the latest data, the youths accounted for 70% of the completed registration in the ongoing CVR, as 6 million out of the 8.6 million new registrations were done by youths.
The top states for registered voters using last election numbers and newly registered are Lagos (6,942,051), Kano (5,838,329), Kaduna (4,239,441), Rivers (3,587,679), Katsina (3,444,064).
Others are Delta (3,242,174), Oyo (3,216,061), Benue (2,717,673), Bauchi (2,711,985), and Anambra (2,651,152).