Tinubu Overtakes Obi In Search Interest

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search interest for presidential candidate
Search interest for 2023 presidential candidates
Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress was the most searched presidential candidate in the first eight days of this month, Bellnewsonline.com analysis of Google Trends data has shown.

Bellnewsonline.com had reported last month that Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of Labour Party, generated the most search interest at 67 percent, followed by Tinubu at 59 percent, and Atiku Abubakar of Peoples Democratic Party at 39 percent, from September 1 to September 28.

Tinubu had the highest average share of search interest at 40 percent, followed closely by Obi (32 percent) and Atiku (26 percent), from October 1 to 8, 2022.

Regional and state analysis

In terms of search interest, the three front-runners shared the six regions equally. Search interest in Atiku was highest in the North-East and North-West; Obi, South-East and South-South; and in Tinubu, South-West and North-Central.

However, Tinubu got the second highest search interest in other regions apart from the South-West and North-Central where he was the most searched presidential candidate in the period under review.

Tinubu also performed better on a state-by-state basis than all the other candidates with the highest search interest in Oyo (57 percent) and the lowest in Gombe (28 percent).

The only regions, which have been hard for Tinubu to break into, based on this analysis and prior analysis, have been the South-East and South-South, although he had a fair share of search interest in the states in the regions.

The south-eastern states recorded the least amount of intending voters who have completed their registration, according to INEC data.

While the Google Trends data show that search interest in Tinubu increased in the North, Atiku’s had a better average share of search interest in the North-East and North-West.

What is driving the search interest in presidential candidates?
For Tinubu, there are at least four factors.The APC presidential candidate had missed important election-related events. He had missed the Nigerian Bar Association conference and the peace pact signing, where he was represented by Kashim Shettima, his running mate.

His absence at these events and the postponement of the APC presidential campaign flag-off raised many questions about the state of his health. To debunk rumours, a video of Tinubu trying to keep fit on a gym bike machine was posted on his official Twitter handle on October 2, and another was posted on October 3. This led to speculations that the cycling video initially posted was dated as far back as January this year.

Tinubu’s arrival video also added to the search interest. The former Lagos State governor returned to the country after a 12-day stay in the United Kingdom. He declared that he was back actively and claimed he could serve as a builder and construction engineer, depending on the need of Nigeria, either in rebuilding or construction. The arrival video showing him alighting from an aircraft trended online.

MC Oluomo, also known as Musiliu Akinsanya, chairman of Lagos State Parks and Garages Management Committee had, on October 9, led a 5-million-man march for Tinubu, in collaboration with the support group called Team Lagos, Nigeria. The rally started at Teslim Balogun Stadium and ended at Oshodi.

A ‘flag boy’, while trying to canvass support for Obi, had reported that he and his cameraman were attacked by thugs at Oshodi and had suffered serious internal bleeding, and was almost burnt alive.

Search interest in Obi could be linked to two major events.
The comment of Ejike Mbaka, a catholic priest, of the Adoration Ministry that he never spoke ill of Obi garnered a lot of search interest for Obi.

SKC Ogbonni asked President Muhammadu Buhari to endorse Obi. The former presidential aspirant of APC, in an open letter, asked Buhari to openly endorse Obi, as his preferred next president of Nigeria, because of his frugal management of resources, no record of corruption, young age, and better state of health, which were among his many reasons.

He said a setback to effective leadership is old age or ill health.

He added that 2023 presents a chance for Buhari to redeem his legacy and also save Nigeria from total collapse. And he should not have a hand in such a shameless fall from grace, by vying for support for Tinubu or Atiku because of their poor health conditions and that they would in no good conscience campaign against corruption.

Atiku’s dancing video was his claim to fame. Almost all the presidential candidates are trying to show their youthfulness and physical strength to run Nigeria. And Atiku wasn’t left out. He wore different attires while dancing in a video. He also revealed his 5-star recovery plan while dancing.

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