Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s nominee for president, came in first place on Google Trends for the month of August 2022. According to a report by Pulse Nigeria, Obi narrowly defeated Bola Tinubu, the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), while Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lagged behind them.
Recall how the three candidates for the presidency met in London in August with the heads of their political parties and statesmen. The candidates were the topic of social media conversations after the London conference, with all of them trending on Twitter for days.
Google Trends, on the other hand, offers data on the public’s interest in the candidates, the topics of their searches, and the locations from which they originate, whereas social media conversations about the candidates were primarily driven by their supporters to support them and disparage other candidates.
In Nigeria during the first half of 2022, Obi was the most searched for, according to a Pulse report from July. However, a comparison of the searches made on Google Trends relating to candidates from Monday, August 1 to Wednesday, August 31, indicated certain trends that might be relevant for the presidential election in February 2023.
Bola During the time period under consideration, fewer people have searched for Ahmed Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar than for Peter Obi. For instance, on Saturday, August 13, interest in Obi rose by 100% in the general population. According to Pulse’s study, Obi’s claim that Sambisa is twice the size of Israel is what caused the increase in searches for him. When the claim turned out to be false, as was to be expected, a lot of Nigerians criticized the presidential candidate.
There was a spike in searches for Tinubu on Wednesday, August 10, 2022. The rise is a result of his campaign management advising Obi to be cautious when using social media to post. Even though Obi and Tinubu led the search phase for the entire month, Atiku Abubakar received the most searches on Monday, August 29, 2022.
The only thing that may account for the rise in interest in the former vice president among Nigerians at the time was his trip to Kano State, where he met former governor Ibrahim Shekarau, who changed from the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Another significant component of the enormous amount of information on the search engine is the searchers’ location. Searches for Obi were mainly concentrated in the country’s south, south-south, and southeast regions. The states of Kogi, Plateau Sokoto, Benue, and Kwara in the North had a disproportionate number of searches involving him.
But in Lagos and Ogun, where his search terms accounted for 40% and 47% of all searches during the study period, Tinubu outscored him. The majority of searches for Tinubu, the former governor of Lagos State, were conducted in the six Southwestern states, which included Lagos and a few other states. Atiku’s search keyword was outranked in Bauchi, Kebbi, Zamfara, and Gombe states by queries connected to Tinubu in the North.
Additionally, Tinubu and Atiku had some noteworthy search percentages in the states of Nasarawa, Kano, and Kaduna. It’s important to see that Tinubu and Obi both had 0% of searches, making Atiku the only candidate who appears to be running in Jigawa state.
Atiku also has a higher search% in the states of Yobe, Adamawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Kano. Additionally, his search query produced some substantial hits for the states of Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Ekiti, and Kogo. This information lends some support to the hypothesis that the leading contenders for the 2023 election may engage in a tribal conflict.