2023 Nigeria Presidential Elections: A Success Road Map for All Candidates

Nigerian elections are fast approaching, and it is only a matter of time until a candidate who adopts an out-of-the-box approach wins the show.

While all the candidates are luring voters on the ground, the digital election campaigns of the Nigerian presidential aspirants are minimal.

The lack of digital election campaigning by all the candidates provides an opportunity for those candidates who are ready to do online campaigning to win the Aso Villa.

List of presidential candidates in Nigeria is:

  • Atiku Abubakar
  • Bola Tinubu
  • Peter Obi
  • Rabiu Kwankwaso

Let's see what the online world provides as opportunities for them and how all of these candidates can improve their digital election campaign to emerge victorious on election day.

A Head to Head Comparison of All Nigerian Candidates’ Popularity

Below is the live comparison graph of Google's official data about the popularity of all the top four presidential nominees online.

Note: In case, Google trends graphs are not loading on your device, please click on this link to see live and detailed data https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?geo=NG&q=Atiku%20Abubakar,%2Fm%2F08m2c5,Peter%20Obi,%2Fm%2F0g6r43

It is easy to see here that Peter Obi's popularity is increasing among voters exponentially. Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar are fighting for the second spot. However, Rabiu Kwankwaso is struggling to attract enough voters online.

Area Wise Domination Across Nigeria

Now, if we see the area-wise domination of different candidates, clearly, Peter Obi is dominating the online search in most states.

Meanwhile, Atiku Abubakar and Bola Tinubu are going neck and neck, while Rabiu Kwankwaso is still struggling to bring convincing results.

Here you can see that Peter Obi is dominating the online search in most parts of the country, while Abubakar and Tinubu are lagging.

Online Popularity of Attiku Abubakar in All Nigerian States

Note: In case, Google trends graphs are not loading on your device, please click on this link to see live and detailed data https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?geo=NG&q=Atiku%20Abubakar,%2Fm%2F08m2c5,Peter%20Obi,%2Fm%2F0g6r43

Online Popularity of Bola Tinubu in All Nigerian States

Note: In case, Google trends graphs are not loading on your device, please click on this link to see live and detailed data https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?geo=NG&q=Atiku%20Abubakar,%2Fm%2F08m2c5,Peter%20Obi,%2Fm%2F0g6r43

Online Popularity of Peter Obi in All Nigerian States

Note: In case, Google trends graphs are not loading on your device, please click on this link to see live and detailed data https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?geo=NG&q=Atiku%20Abubakar,%2Fm%2F08m2c5,Peter%20Obi,%2Fm%2F0g6r43

Online Popularity of Rabiu Kwankwaso in All Nigerian States

Note: In case, Google trends graphs are not loading on your device, please click on this link to see live and detailed data https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?geo=NG&q=Atiku%20Abubakar,%2Fm%2F08m2c5,Peter%20Obi,%2Fm%2F0g6r43

Youtube Head-to Head Comparison

Voters want to see their favorite candidates on YouTube. Nigerians are also doing the same. Here is the live data from Google about the YouTube popularity of all the presidential candidates

Note: In case, Google trends graphs are not loading on your device, please click on this link to see live and detailed data https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?geo=NG&gprop=youtube&q=Atiku%20Abubakar,%2Fm%2F08m2c5,Peter%20Obi,%2Fm%2F0g6r43

The Social Media Game of the Top Four Nigerian Candidates

Let's see overall engagement of all four candidates

For Atiku Abubakar

2023 Nigeria Presidential Elections: A Success Road Map for All Candidates

For Peter Obi

2023 Nigeria Presidential Elections: A Success Road Map for All Candidates

For Bola Tinubu

2023 Nigeria Presidential Elections: A Success Road Map for All Candidates

For Rabiu Kwankwaso

2023 Nigeria Presidential Elections: A Success Road Map for All Candidates

Total Facebook posts comparison

2023 Nigeria Presidential Elections: A Success Road Map for All Candidates

Now if we see head to head competitive comparison, it is easy to see that Peter Obi is dominating the social media game

2023 Nigeria Presidential Elections: A Success Road Map for All Candidates

For Atiku Abubakar, the states look like these

2023 Nigeria Presidential Elections: A Success Road Map for All Candidates

For Bola Tinubu, Facebook stats look like these, he is well behind the competitive average

2023 Nigeria Presidential Elections: A Success Road Map for All Candidates

For Rabiu Kwankwaso

2023 Nigeria Presidential Elections: A Success Road Map for All Candidates

These social media stats show that Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar are leading the social media campaign, while Tinubu and Kwankwaso has been ignorant about them.

Bringing up the social media campaign is the effective way to win elections, primarily in such close races where four GOTV drives matter the most.

Candidate With Strongest GOTV Campaign Will Win Nigeria Elections

Nigeria is one of those African countries where people are not always ready to vote. The low turnout gives political campaigns an opportunity to launch Get out to Vote (GOTV) drives to win their elections.

Young people are expected to decide the outcome of the Nigerian elections. The country added more than 10 million new voters ahead of the 2023 presidential elections, and most of them are young voters. This means that first-time voters will have a huge say in the upcoming elections.

Approximately 84% of the newly registered 10.49 million voters are less than 34 years of age.

According to the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria, the voter population has almost reached 95 million in the country of 206 million.

Statistics suggest that almost 32 million people use social media regularly in Nigeria, which provides enough opportunities for Nigerian politicians to lure voters to their campaigns.

Atiku Abubakar will surely know the importance of these 32 million social media users, as he lost his last election by almost 3 million votes against the incumbent president, Muhammad Buhari.

This time elections are likely to be even closer, so the importance of social media voters will increase manifold.

If we look at the voter turnout of the previous three elections, the numbers are not so encouraging

Year Registered Voters Voter Turnout
2019 82,344,107 34.75%
2015 68,833,476  43.65%
2011 73,528,040 53.68%

The last two elections had a disappointing turnout in the Nigeria presidential elections, and the same is expected this time if candidates fail to level up their GOTV drives.

The newly registered 10 million voters are the goldmine who can make or break the 2023 presidential elections.

But candidates may wonder how they can increase voter turnout. That's why we have devised a step-by-step strategy for every candidate to bring out voters in their favor.

Taking Advantage of Viral Politics: How Nigeria Politicians can Mobilize Newly Registered Voters En Masse

The current poor economic situation of Nigeria is enough to mobilize voters on election day.

Yearly inflation is reaching almost 20% in Nigeria, which is drastically raising the cost of living in the country. Average Nigerians are grappling with skyrocketing prices of daily necessities, and rising inflation always gives a political advantage to the opposition.

The ruling elite struggles to face voters amid inflation, so Atiku Abubakar has the advantage while campaigning on inflation.

A Hack Specifically Made for Bola Tinubu’s Campaign

Despite belonging to the ruling party, apc presidential candidate 2023 Bola Tinubu does not have to worry as much about rising inflation. For Tinubu, the election campaign tactics of Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya have deep lessons, who, despite surging inflation, managed to clinch a victory in his country in the 2018 presidential elections.

Before the 2018 elections, Kenya was struggling with high maize flour prices, so Kenyans used to search the term "Unga prices" on Google, which literally meant flour maize prices in the local language.

But they used to see pro-Kenyatta results at the top of search results. Eventually, despite raising Unga prices, Kenyatta was showing people results suggesting that he was working hard to bring the prices down. All courtesy of this strategy goes to Google Ads, the power of which clearly won elections for Kenyatta.

Kenyatta was also struggling with scandals, so when Kenyans were searching for the term "scandal," they saw pro-Kenyatta results once again.

Credits go to Google ads once again.

Here, you can see how Uhuru Kenyatta used Google ads to get voters out even when people were struggling with inflation.

These two results were shown to Kenyans by Uhuru Kenyyata led campaign to manipulate voters in their favor
These two results were shown to Kenyans by Uhuru Kenyyata led campaign to manipulate voters in their favor

Now Bola Tinubu can do the same thing and much more. Google ads are not the only strategy to win votes, even without popular policies.

We have a detailed strategy laid out for Bola Tinubu, which could help him win the elections despite the prevailing drastic inflation in Kenya.

Unlike other candidates, Bola Tinubu might not have much margin for mistakes. If Tinubu wins the elections, it will be by a close margin, so adopting the out-of-the-box strategies will help Tinubu to emerge victorious in February next year.

So, any candidate who successfully targets these social media users will be on the right side in February next year.

No Campaign Website? Atiku Abubakar Missing Wonderful Campaign Opportunity

While Atiku Abubakar has a Medium account, he is unable to harness the full potential of the internet on the Medium account. The downfalls of having a Medium account for Atiku Abubakar are:

  • Medium can ban political/election content at any time.
  • Abubakar's account has only 6,900 followers, while he can get tenfold traction by having his own campaign website.
  • Efforts are not well rewarded on Medium.
  • Medium results are not always shown in search results, particularly in Google search.
  • When you stop posting on Medium, you start losing your audience. But on your own campaign website, voters keep on visiting you. The content, once published on your own website, can be kept on ranking on the website for years, which brings constant traffic to your website.
  • You cannot have a fundraising page on your Medium account, but you can have it on your campaign website.
  • You cannot gather the email data of your voters on a Medium account, but you can get it using forms on your campaign website.
  • Abubakar cannot access the detailed visitor data on his Medium account. From where are the people visiting his account? What are the interests of the voters? Medium only shows a small amount of data. However, getting all the insights of your visitors on your own website is a piece of cake. You can always get it using Google Analytics, Search Console, and similar online portals.

Bola Tinubu Axing his Own Feet: Outdated Campaign Website Will Lead Him to Defeat Only

Only Bola Tinubu has his campaign website, which is a positive sign for his campaign.

But the bad news is that the website is not maintained as ideal websites are supposed to be maintained during the election cycle. The outdated website can turn voters away from Tinubu candidates at a time when every single vote matters.

Consider these stats for the Tinubu website and see how outdated it has become:

  • Latest Speech Text Uploaded: January 22, 2020
  • Latest Video Speech: Speeches from 1999 uploaded, no latest speech
  • Latest Article Published: June 10, 2022
  • Latest Press Release: February 21, 2022

The outdated website depicts the non-seriousness nature of public candidates, which should be a worrisome sign for Tinubu. If he is really looking to win elections, keeping the website updated should be the top priority. Otherwise, the presidential run will be nothing more than a waste of time.

Peter Obi's Goldmine: The Young Nigerian Voters

Ahead of the 2023 presidential elections, only one group of voters is expected to save the day for Peter Obi; young voters.

As an overwhelming majority of new voters are young, and they use social media in great numbers, giving Peter a reason to celebrate.

But his dry online campaign approach can backfire at a time when his most valuable voter group is present online. Young voters have elevated Peter Obi to the designation of a saint, but he still has no website.

As a matter of fact, campaign websites are extremely critical since they are used to tackle reputation management crises.

And Peter Obi is on the verge of a reputation crisis amid the emerging scandals of foreign and diaspora funding.

If Peter Obi does not make his own online inventory and develop a campaign website to denounce the negative propaganda against him, the propagandist will thrive, and it will be useless to cry over spilled milk later on.

And the good news for Peter Obi is that he can collect millions of Naira before the elections using his own campaign website without relying on diaspora funding.

All Peter needs to do is to launch a campaign website and put a donation form on it to make donations easy for people.

Peter has no shortage of donors. He only needs to make the donation process easy and simplified, so he successfully provides an easy path for donors to contribute. And nothing can beat a campaign website in this regard.

And when Peter has the campaign website, he will have unlimited opportunities to collect voters' data, get their emails, and do email marketing to attract millions of Naira in campaign donations.

As young voters are with Obi, and they have less voter apathy, Obi must focus on his digital campaign now instead of beating around the bush. Young voters want to see new faces in power corridors, and Peter Obi is that person at this moment.

But many political insiders believe that this is just the beginning of a journey for Peter Obi's presidential race, who will be more likely to make a statement in this election rather than win it.

Even if Obi wins six to seven million votes, he will announce his arrival and will have greater chances in the upcoming elections.

One thing is for sure; Obi's supporters, famously known as Obedients, will come in great numbers, and attaining the six million voters mark seems a non-issue for Obi.

However, some extra efforts right now could double this figure, and Obi could then pull a surprise victory in the February elections. So Obi's campaign must:

  • Bring Their Social Media Game Up
  • Launch a Campaign Website
  • Do Paid Advertisement on Social Media and Google
  • Team up with Influencers for Influencer Marketing
  • Work on the GOTV Drives
  • Put Efforts into Online Fundraising Opportunities
  • Do Data-Driven Political Campaigns and Leave the Guesswork Aside.

If he does that, pulling off a victory will be a non-issue.

Rabiu Kwankwaso’s Poor Online Bid: Bound to Lose Elections for him

Among all the top four presidential candidates, Rabiu Kwankwaso has the poorest online presence. Without the blue ticks on his social media handles, Kwankwaso is struggling to even connect with voters properly.

In fact, Kwankwaso is leaving significant opportunities for his rivals to start a smear campaign against him, as he has no verified social media profile.

Amid all of this, Kwankwaso's campaign needs immediate measures to uplift his digital campaign strategy.

Worse enough, Kwankwaso has no campaign website, which is also the biggest blunder of his campaign.

While Kwankwaso may not be aspiring for the presidency as passionately as other candidates, he needs to have a strong online presence if he really wants to win the Nigerian presidential elections.

Even if Kwankwaso is looking toward the subsequent presidential elections, starting the online game right from now is the recommended strategy since he can easily increase his outreach that way.

Low Voter Confidence in Government: Politicians have a Massive task to Bring Voters Out

Nigerians are not living an ideal life these days. In the presence of a drastic economic situation and surging violence by the insurgent group Boko Haram, Nigerians are losing faith in the government.

But this is not a worrying sign for the ruling party only. In fact, all politicians will have to struggle to bring people out to vote due to the low public confidence in the institution of the government.

The rising economic instability has made people believe that no politician will be able to bring the country out of the crisis.

Whichever president comes, he will need to make tough and unpopular decisions during his honeymoon period in order to initiate conclusive reforms.

While those unpopular actions can further deteriorate the confidence of people in government, politicians have to realize the doctrine of post-truth and hyper-reality in order to lure voters.

Post-truth politics can help politicians in attracting voters to themselves at a point when the facts and data are going against them.

Last year, almost 9,700 Nigerians were killed due to insurgency, so most people have no faith left in the time-tested politicians.

Increasing Voters Turnout by Educating Voters 

Educating voters is the only way to make them vote in the 2023 elections. And the process of education is not simple. Candidates should pursue voters regularly if they want to see more people coming out to vote in the upcoming elections.

But no Nigerian presidential hopeful aspires to launch an online GOTV campaign to increase voter turnout.

Some of the most efficient ways to educate voters online are:

  • Email Marketing Funnels
  • Social Media Ads
  • Relational Organizing
  • Grassroot Movements
  • Website Content Marketing

But seeing that no candidate is pursuing an inspiring online election strategy, the elections can once again be decided by the low voter turnout.

Final Thoughts

Most pundits are putting their money on Atiku Abubakar's eventual victory and a runoff election between Atiku and Bola Tinubu. Tinubu has the disadvantage of belonging to the ruling coalition. Due to the worsening outlook of Nigeria, in general, the ruling government is bound to suffer, but only an out-of-the-box digital campaign can win the elections for Tinubu.

The country of Nigeria is likely to go into a runoff presidential election due to the presence of four strong candidates. Runoff elections will be conducted among the top two presidential candidates, but if politicians take this election lightly, the other ones can snatch the victory even in the general election.

Just like in the case of Kenya, where William Ruto managed to avoid runoff elections by a mere margin of 70,000 votes, mainstream Nigerian politicians will also be looking to avoid the runoff.

Particularly, Bola Tinubu may not have the last laugh if the elections go in the runoff direction.

As a matter of fact, Obi's supporters are the hardcore rivals of Tinubu, which means that a big majority of those voters will vote against Tinubu if the runoff elections are held between Atiku and Tinubu.

If Peter Obi is still not ready to invest in his digital campaign, both Atiku and Tinubu should be ready for the runoff elections. In fact, they should craft their election strategy to hit the bull's eye in the runoff polls, where voter turnout is always less than in the actual elections.

Once again, GOTV campaigns will help in the runoff elections due to the low voter turnout at that time.