With the conclusion of party primaries and the emergence of presidential candidates, the race to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa come 2023 is getting heated up. Candidates, especially, those vying for the number one position in the country have continued to latch onto social media to reach out to millions of potential voters.
While it is believed that elections are not won or lost based on social media sentiments, there is no doubt that the number of followership a candidate commands on such platforms mirrors the popularity of such candidate, at least, on social media.
Nairametrics looks at the followership of some of the top Presidential candidates which include Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bola Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), and Yele Sowore of Africa Action Congress (AAC). Based on the three major social media platforms, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, here is what we found:
The microblogging site is quite popular among young Nigerians. While there is no accurate figure for the number of Nigerians on the platform yet—until Twitter releases an official figure—it can be safely said that there are millions of Nigerians on Twitter.
A vibrant space for political and economic discussions, politicians all over the world recognize the power of Twitter and have continued to leverage it for political success.
Until October 2020 when discussions on Twitter metamorphosed into physical demonstrations that almost put the country into total chaos, many had passed tweets on the Twitter NG space as mere rants that has no physical effect. Today, the government knows better, likewise the politicians who have been unveiling their manifesto to the Twitter community.
Who among the top 5 presidential candidates has the most followers on Twitter?
Atiku Abubakar(4.2 million Twitter followers)
Bola Tinubu (1.1 million followers)
Peter Obi (1.1 million followers)
Yele Sowore (728, 800 followers)
Rabiu Kwankwaso (172,200 followers)
According to Statista, as of March 2022, there were over 36 million Facebook users in Nigeria, accounting for 16.5% of the population. Overall, 33.2% of users were aged between 25 and 34 years, making this age group the largest user base in the country, followed by those aged 18 to 24 years. Just 4.5% of users were aged between 13 to 17 years.
Facebook as a social media platform is used mainly for connecting family, friends, and acquaintances. Just as businesses are using the platform to reach potential customers, so are politicians. This is how the top 5 Presidential candidates fared in terms of Facebook followership:
Atiku Abubakar (1 million followers)
Bola Tinubu (109, 324 followers)
Yele Sowore (363,974)
Unfortunately, Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso have many Facebook accounts opened in their names, none of which can be verified as belonging to them.
Though not much of a platform where politics is discussed as it is mainly for entertainment, the politicians are leaving nothing to chance, hence, they have also registered their presence on Instagram. The 5 candidates in focus all have Instagram accounts and have been active on the platform. Here are their stats: