Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Few days to 2019 presidential election in Nigeria, the presidential candidate of the People’s Trust, PT, Mr Gbenga Olawepo Hashim, has maintained the lead as the most popular presidential candidate online.
The weekly social media rating of presidential candidates’ engagements on the popular online platform, Facebook, on Tuesday showed that the candidate of Peoples Trust, PT, Mr Olawepo-Hashim, is still leading as the most popular presidential candidate online, 3 days to the 2019 presidential election.
The latest data showed that Mr. Hashim was ahead of the incumbent President and All Progressives Congress, APC’s presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, and major opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
“Mr. Hashim, who first overtook President Buhari and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on 10th December, 2018, has remained on top with the highest engagements on social media consecutively ever since,” Hassan Ibrahim, media officer of PT candidate, has revealed in a statement made available to journalists in Kaduna Wednesday.
Going by the data on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019, in Abuja, Olawepo-Hashim recorded Facebook engagements in excess of 63,000 this week, while Atiku Abubakar, who came behind him, recorded 56,000+.
Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, President Muhammadu Buhari, is far behind with only 6000+ engagements.
The statistics also showed that the presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party, YPP, Kingsley Moghalu, the candidate of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), Fela Durotoye, and others were trailing behind.
Data analysts involved in the polling project said that the data on each of the candidates were realistic because “Facebook represents the broad spectrum of voters, who will vote in the February poll.”
According to them, “Increasing engagements imply voters’ growing interest in the candidates, while a decreasing result reflects voters’ disenchantment. A static return means a candidate is at a crossroads in the campaign.”
The analysts said in their report that Olawepo-Hashim’s growing engagement rating is a measure of voters’ interest in him as a Third Force alternative. “He is no longer part of the pack of third-party candidates. He has moved ahead to emerge as a real alternative to both Buhari and Atiku. This is a game-changer from data perspective,” according to Segun Seriki, who is lead analyst for the project.
“The latest data point to a major upset within the struggle for Nigeria’s presidency. We are making the report available to all the major candidates. Our latest data reflect a major upset in the battle for the Presidency. It is no longer a two-horse race. There is now a third-force that is overtaking the old alternatives. We are still following the data but for now, Olawepo-Hashim has pulled the impossible to
maintain an eight weeks lead over President Buhari and Atiku Abubakar,” he said.