The contest to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 is heated, especially with the conclusion of party primaries and the emergence of presidential candidates.
Most Presidential candidates have hit the ground running and already shopping for strategic running mates and constituting shadow cabinets. They have continued to leverage social media to connect deeply with millions of potential voters.
It is often assumed that social media does not determine who wins or loses an election but more often than not, a candidate’s popularity on social media is a plus and a chance to shape voters’ perception in the candidate’s favour.
Here are the 5 most followed presidential candidates on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
This microblogging platform is arguably the preferable social site for politically-inclined young Nigerians.
While there is no exact figure for the number of Nigerians on Twitter until the platform provides one, it is safe to assume that millions of Nigerians are on the forum.
Many politicians worldwide acknowledge the importance of Twitter as a vibrant forum for political and economic discussions and have continued to use it for political gains.
Nigerian politicians are being strategic with their communication on Twitter, knowing a lot of informative and educative discussions about the coming elections mostly take place on the platform.
Until October 2020, when Twitter conversations devolved into physical protests that threatened to throw Nigeria into anarchy, many people regarded conversations on the platform as mere rants with no material impact.
The most followed Presidential election on Twitter includes:
i. Atiku Abubakar with 4.2 million followers
ii. Peter Obi with 1.1 million followers
iii. Bola Tinubu with 1.1 million followers
iv. Yele Sowore with 728, 800 followers
v. Rabiu Kwankwaso with 172,200
According to Statista, Nigeria had over 36 million Facebook members in March 2022, representing 16.5 percent of the country’s population. Overall, 33.2 percent of users were between the ages of 25 and 34.
This makes this age group the largest user base, followed by those aged 18 to 24. Only 4.5 percent of users were between the ages of 13 and 17.
As a social media tool, Facebook is mostly used to connect with family, friends, and acquaintances. Plus, the platform has evolved to become the go-to for online marketing.
i. Atiku Abubakar has 1 million followers
ii. Yele Sowore has 363,974 followers
iii. Bola Tinubu has 109,324 followers
Unfortunately, Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso have a slew of Facebook pages in their names that can’t be authenticated as theirs.
Though not much of a venue for discussing politics because it is primarily used for amusement, politicians are not taking any chances and have established their presence on Instagram.
The five candidates above all use Instagram and have been active on the network. Here are some of their numbers:
i. Atiku Abubakar has 419,000 followers
ii. Yele Sowore has 190,000 followers
iii. Bola Tinubu has 68,400 followers
iv. Peter Obi has 32,100 followers
v. Rabiu Kwankwaso has 17,200 followers