As at October, 2022, the share market of Google search engine in Nigeria is 98.37%. This indicates that Nigerians prioritise the use of the product than others such as Yahoo and Bing while seeking information on the Internet. It is therefore appropriate to say that many Internet users are using the product to get information about the leading candidates ahead of the 2023 presidential election in Nigeria. A navigational search conducted on the search engine by our analyst reveals that information about Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party has been highly normalised than other candidates, indicating a large number of publications about him from different sources.
There are approximately 21,600,000 results in the overall category, which includes news, videos, images, books, maps, shopping, flights, and maps. There are over 200,000 and 4,000,000 million results for understanding Mr Peter Obi in the news and video categories, respectively. Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, trails him with approximately 4,200,000 results in all categories, while over 700,000 results are also available for understanding him (Bola Ahmed Tinubu) within the news category. For him, our search yields approximately 1,220,000 results in the video category. The People’s Democratic Party’s candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, comes in third in all categories.
Having more information from various sources that do not appear to be paid for indicates that everyone is supporting his campaign movement. It has also indicated that there are limits to what politicians who have held various national positions can achieve through the use of new technologies. For example, the acceptance and discussion of Mr Peter Obi’s views on how Nigeria should be governed on the virtual sphere indicates that Nigerian youth, who primarily use emerging technologies, are assisting him in institutionalizing algorithmisation campaign strategy in Nigerian political campaigns.
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Even though Mr. Peter Obi is gaining a sizable amount of attention on digital platforms, it is important to remember that in Nigeria, winning elections requires more than just having a group of “digitally inclined youth” to spread programmes and issues that would be addressed after the election. Nigerians need to have access to the final version of Mr. Peter Obi’s manifesto. This is necessary because previous information indicates that the final copy of the manifesto is not yet available. “We have not formally released our Manifesto. I will do so personally. It seems an earlier draft copy under review has made its way into the public space,” he notes in one of his tweets.
There is no doubt that a number of interviews with the local, national, and international media as well as appearances at various debates have identified issues that will be addressed. However, it is imperative that ideas are put down in writing for both immediate and future reference. After more than 50 days of campaigning across the country, the strategic agenda of the LP should not be difficult to disclose given that the APC and PDP presidential candidates have already released theirs.
Mutiu Iyanda is a Research and Communications professional. He currently works with Infoprations Limited, a data-driven management consulting company based in Lagos, Nigeria.
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