By Ifeanyi Nwoko
The importance of social media in information dissemination has taken a new trend as its acceptability grows wider and even more popular than the conventional media.
Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, top the list of most popular platforms through which celebrities, politicians, businesses and even news organisations disseminate information.
In Nigeria, the social media wave has caught on fast among celebrities, artistes, politicians and individuals who are now regarded as social media influencers.
Among these sets, the politicians are yet to fully embrace the importance of these social media tool. However, for a few who have social media handlers and others who are very active on social media, their posts and followers abound to show their activities on these platforms.
Below is a list of Nigerian politicians who have the most followers on Twitter: Only handles verified by twitter or verified by the politician or their aide has been listed below.
Muhammadu Buhari: 1.41 million followers
Muhammadu Buhari is the President of Nigeria. His personal twitter account @MBuhari was created in Dec 2014.
With only 2813 tweets, @MBuhari has 1.41 followers on twitter. He is however following on 19 twitter handles Vice President Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, APC Leader Bola Tinubu and Bring Back Our Girls Coordinator Oby Ezekwesili.
On Facebook, his fanpage has 750,000 likes.
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo: 1.51 million followers
Yemi Osinbajo is the Vice President of Nigeria and a former commissioner of Lagos State.
Osinbajo’s twitter account @ProfOsinbajo was created in December 2014 and he has tweeted 1,751 times.
Osinbajo has 1.51 million followers while he is following 63 people.
On Facebook he has 461,000 likes
Dr Bukola Saraki: 1.11 million followers
Dr Bukola Saraki @BukolaSaraki is the President of the Nigerian Senate and former Governor of Kwara State. The handle is his personal twitter handle different from that of his office as President of the Senate.
He joined twitter in June 2010 and has tweeted over 19,000 times. His twitter handle has 1936 likes and he follows 850 other handles.
On Facebook he has 461,000 likes
Hon. Yakubu Dogara: 283,000 followers
Hon. Yakubu Dogara @YakubDogara is the Speaker of the House of Representatives. He joined twitter in January 2012.
He has tweeted 8,680 times and follows 14 handles.
Dogara has no verified account on facebook. However, the fanpage that most likely looks like his official panpage has 161,000 likes
Ben Murray Bruce: 583,000 followers
Ben Bruce is a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He is adjudged in some quarters as the most active senator on twitter with handle: @benmurraybruce.
Ben Bruce created his account in October 2014 and has 7,201 tweets. He is popularly known as the common sense senator.
He follows only 76 handles and has 127 likes.
On Facebook he has 269,000 likes.
Senator Dino Melaye: 423,000 followers
Senator Dino Melaye is one of the most vibrant senators in the 8th Senate. He is active on the floor of the senate and also active on social media.
Melaye @dino_melaye joined twitter in October 2011 and has tweeted 77,400 times. He has 423,000 followers but he only follows 3 twitter handles.
His handle is liked by 326 people. However, the handle is not officially verified by twitter.
His Facebook fan page has 207,000 likes.
Nasir Elrufai: 1.32 million
Nasir Elrufai @elrufai is the Governor of Kaduna State and a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.
He joined twitter in February 2009 and has tweeted 43,400 times. He follows 789 handles on twitter and his handle is liked by 472.
Elrufai’s Facebook fan page is liked by 833,000 people.
Ayo Fayose: 281,000
Ayo Fayose is the Executive Governor of Ekiti state under the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party.
@GovAyoFayose joined twitter in March 2014 and since then has tweeted 2,602 times. He follows 132 twitter handles.
Many Nigerian politicians are yet to get on twitter while other who are already in twitter are not active.
At present, the account with the highest number of followers is @KatyPerry with over 109 million followers.