Peter Obi’s meteoric rise in popularity among Nigerian youth can be attributed to a number of factors, despite harsh criticism of his track record which does not stand up to scrutiny, according to some political analysts.
Nonetheless, his predilection for demagogy and fact-shaking during his election campaign as the Labor Party presidential candidate in the upcoming 2023 elections, has captured the minds of a major segment of the voting population – the youth. Nigerian.
Months of waiting in uncertainty and limbo due to the ongoing strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) coincided with the start of the political season, which saw an upsurge in the number of young people until there indifferent seeking to exercise their right to vote.
While not everyone in this dynamic segment is supportive of Peter Obi, a significant percentage of young people tagged with “OBIDients” vehemently support the Labor Party presidential candidate, as evidenced by his rise in popularity on social media, especially Twitter.
Ripplemetrics has published a detailed analysis listing the causal nuances between social media and its impacts on the electoral process, and while Peter Obi is not the most followed Nigerian politician on social media, his supporters are among the most vocal.
If the presidential elections were to be counted based on social media followers, Peter Obi would not be in the top three.
When it comes to social media presence, especially Twitter, considered to be the fastest and most reliable source of information that every politician or brand tries to tap into and increase their reach, Atiku Abubakar dominates .
StatiSense reports that by the end of June, Atiku had 4.29 million social media followers ahead of President Buhari’s 4.14 million followers.
Nonetheless, Peter Obi’s media presence is growing rapidly and added 357,000 new subscribers in June, which is why he has inherited an army of critics looking to verify his “Chinese” stats.
Criticisms against ambition, alleged misrepresentations
Critics question whether he truly represents a break with the corruption he regularly speaks out on, pointing out that his name appeared in leaked Pandora documents that exposed the hidden wealth of the rich and powerful in 2021.
Although he was not charged with stealing money, he failed to report offshore accounts and assets held by family members, citing his ignorance.
He was also accused of having invested public funds, as governor, in a company in which he had interests. He has denied any wrongdoing and points out that the value of the investment has since increased.
Read also: ANALYSIS: An opposition within the opposition? How PDP could derail its ambition
Ironically, for a man who has changed parties three times since 2002, Obi frequently asserts that he is not motivated by a desire to become president.
He left the PDP just days before the party’s presidential primary in May, and Atiku Abubakar, a 75-year-old former vice president, was chosen as the party’s candidate.
His supporters also believe he was kicked out of the PDP because of his refusal to pay the party’s primary delegates, and they created the slogan “We don’t give shishi” to describe his renowned frugal nature and careful use of public funds. in a country where civil servants are used to wasting money.
They perceive him as a political outsider ready to confront the titans of the PDP and the APC, whom they see as two sides of the same coin and whom they accuse of dipping into the public coffers.
Plus, critics reiterate that Peter Obi relies on his ability to win a crowd by shaking up our murky statistics on the state of the economy. A comprehensive fact check by the International Center for Investigative Reporting during his 2019 run as the PDP’s vice-presidential candidate stretched his arsenal, given the complexity of the Nigerian situation.
Despite these flaws, the young populace has been drawn to him because of his reputation for economy and good administration with accusations of cyberbullying for saying that anyone who doesn’t support him in next year’s election is an enemy. of State.
His tweet in response, urging his followers to “soak up the sportsmanship”, did little to calm them down.
They are eager to point out the heavy crowds at the offices of the Election Arbitrator in Nigeria, where they flocked to register as voters for the first time, to anyone claiming the election is not won on Twitter.
This apparent outpouring of support means only one thing… young people are tired and angry with the status quo and any politician can exploit such discontent with ruthlessness, which is what Obi employs – however, it is now up to him to maintain the good desire for the improvement of our democracy.
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