As the train for 2023 general election in Nigeria gathers speed and the search for the Aso Roc’s new occupant gathers steam, a former Presidential Candidate, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim has emerged most vocal and engaging political leader on cyberspace, discussing critical issues of statehood, economic development and national unity and proffering solutions on how to advance the country and keep it safe.
In the recent report released by Grand Plan, research and new media communication outfit, Olawepo-Hashim is only behind incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari who is finishing his second term in office in 2023.
The monthly social media rating of political engagements on Facebook platform, which was released last Thursday showed that President Muhammadu Buhari and Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim are leading as the most engaging political leaders in the country.
The latest data according to Grand Plan’s Executive Director, Abdulrazaq Hamzat showed that, Mr. Olaweo-Hashim was ahead of all other political figures, including Former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Chairman of Nigeria’s Governor’s Forum, Kayode Fayemi and Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello and others.
According to statistics by Grand Plan, President Muhammed Buhari maintain top with over 296,000+ engagement, followed by Olawepo Hashim with 98,000+ engagement.
Data released shows that other political figures and presidential hopefuls such as Alhaji Atiku Abubakar recorded 53,000+ engagements, Dr. Bukola Saraki recorded 48,000+engagement.
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, who has also indicated an interest in the presidency recorded 37,000+ engagements and Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi had only 6000+ engagement on the tech giant platform, Facebook.
Grand Plan maintained that the data on each of the candidates’ were realistic because “Facebook represents the broad spectrum of voters who will vote in 2023.”
According to Hamzat, “increasing engagements imply voters’ growing interest in the candidates while a decreasing result reflects voters’ disenchantment.
Following the ban on the popular microblogging platform, Twitter, few months ago, Nigerian politicians have become more active on Facebook and most of them have made the platform their preferred medium of communication with the people.
Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the world, with over 2.8 billion users. It is also by far, the most popular social media platform in Nigeria with over 65% control.
“While there are over 104 million internet users in Nigeria, only 33million of them are on social media with Facebook, having over 30% of the total internet users and more than 95% of social media users, with its over 31 million Facebook users in Nigeria, some of whom also uses other social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok etc.
Additionally, contrary to popular belief which claimed that the suspended microblogging platform, Twitter is the platform for youths in the country, available records show that Facebook still remains the dominant social media platform for young adults. Hamzat said.
According to him, “65 percent of Facebook users are under the age of 35, which means that they fall under the age demographic of Millennials and Generation Z.
“It is also important to note that, between 25 to 34-year-olds accounted for 32.5 percent of Facebook users, whereas just 2.9 percent of users were aged between 55 and 64 years old”.
Grand Plan noted that, Olawepo-Hashim’s growing engagement is a measure of voters’ interest in him ahead of 2023, as he discusses policy issues that many consider important.
“At a time when the country is in need of real leaders, Olawepo Hashim has stepped forward early enough, with clarity of thought and serious governance proposals, putting his ideas forward to the Nigerian people for scrutiny”. Hamzat said.
The monthly social media rating of political figures by Grand Plan will be released last week of every month.