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Logically Bulletin: Nigerian election results cause opposition and calls for resistance on Twitter

Nigerian election

Major Narratives:

Since March 2 2023, users online have called for resistance to the election of Bola Tinubu, due to his not winning a majority of the popular vote in the Nigerian elections.

  • Nigerians must resist the election of Bola Tinubu - More than 20,000 posts or retweets on Twitter since March 2, 2023
  • #Revolution has been posted or retweeted more than 27,000 times on March 2, 2023 in conversations related to Bola Tinubu’s election
  • The election was rigged against Peter Obi - More than 59,000 posts or retweets on Twitter since March 2, 2023

Platforms:

Of more than 1.4 million posts or retweets related to Bola Tinubu on Twitter since March 2, 2023, 3.8% have called for resistance, a revolution, a revote, or claimed he is not their president. In the period from January 31, 2023 - February 26, 2023, of more than 3.6 million posts or retweets related to Bola Tinubu, only 0.3% made the same calls and claims.

Of more than 1.1 million posts or retweets related to Peter Obi on Twitter since March 2, 2023, 6.5% have claimed that the election was stolen from him or rigged.  In the period from January 31, 2023 - February 26, 2023, of more than 6 million posts or retweets related to Peter Obi, only 0.4% made the same claims.

On the weekend prior to results being announced, mentions of these claims increased significantly.

Impact:

After the announcement of Nigeria’s election results, users have taken to Twitter to claim that Bola Tinubu’s election is illegitimate, and to call for resistance to his installment as President.

Given claims that votes were stolen from Obi and demands for resistance and court hearings in relation to the election, there is the possibility for violence and protests in the wake of the results.

Global election denialism has become part of popular discourse, with many of the same narratives about stolen votes and tampered ballot boxes having been alleged in the recent US midterms as well as the Brazilian general election.

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