Speculation around Peter Obi’s chances of success in Nigeria’s 2023 presidential elections abounds. Why? Social media is abuzz with his supporters, the so-called “Obi-dients”. Not much is known about his popularity beyond social media (with social media users accounting for just 15% of the population).
Sofala Partners and Emani spoke to 110 registered voters in Osun State, finding that the social media hype is real in signalling Obi’s appeal but unlikely to sway election results in Obi’s favour. Obi’s popularity appears to be driven by a small young group of Christian urban residents in Lagos and other big cities. He is not sufficiently known among rural Nigerians or the majority Muslim North of the country to win the election. Nevertheless, his popular appeal suggests imminent change in the Nigerian political landscape, where non-traditional parties stand a chance at success.
Sofala and Emani’s analysis isn’t based on data from an opinion poll. And, our findings are at odds with several polls. The findings of data collected by Bloomberg and Premise Data, NOI Polls and We2Geda put Peter Obi ahead of other candidates.
Emani’s Local Pulse Monitor is streaming data on perceptions in the lead up to the Nigerian election. Sign up for free.