On February 25, 2023, Nigerians will go to the polls to decide who will become the next president of Africa’s most populous country.
The forthcoming election has continued to generate debate on social media platforms, as many see it as a make-or-mar election given Nigeria’s poor economic and security situation.
Suppose a competent, disciplined, and incorrupt candidate is elected president. In that case, it might mark a turning point for the oil-rich country that has seen decades of grave public funds mismanagement and embezzlement that have kept over 133 million (62% of the population) in multidimensional poverty.
But economic, social and security conditions will likely worsen if another corrupt and incompetent politician is elected president.
As Nigerians pledge their support to the 18 presidential candidates, Google has proffered a solution to help voters find valuable election-related information. Google launched the Nigeria Elections Trends Hub on January 12.
Nigerians can search for trendy subjects, political issues and parties on the platform. They can also find their candidates’ latest news with a graph representation of regional searches.
As of today, February 2, 2023, the platform has indicated an increase in the search interest of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress.
Tinubu has a 40% search value on the platform, while Peter Obi of the Labour Party has a 30% search. Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party comes third with 26%, while Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party comes a distant fourth with 4% search.
Interest by sub-region
The platform also has a section that provides insights on interests by sub-region.
On the chart, Sokoto, Plateau and Bauchi states have been the top three states actively searching for elections-related updates.
With the platform, Google hopes to stop the spread of false information. It also hopes to assist news organizations in utilizing cutting-edge technology and tools to make reporting more effective and efficient.
Google believes that false information can compromise the integrity of a free and fair election and can also mislead the media and interfere with the election process.
“We want Nigerians to be empowered with information during the upcoming elections,” said Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Google’s communications and public affairs manager for West Africa.
“So we’re organizing information to make it easy for voters to learn more about the candidates through the eyes of Google Trends.”
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