FACT-CHECK: Atiku’s Claim That 90% Of Nigerian Northerners Are Not On Social Media Is FALSE

A claim by former Vice President and candidate of the People’s Democratic Party in the forthcoming 2023 general elections, Atiku Abubakar that 90% of people from the Northern part of Nigeria are not on social media is FALSE.

Atiku made the claim on the 22nd of July, 2022 while responding to questions on the chances of Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi at the presidential polls.

“It is very difficult to expect a miracle to happen, simply because Peter Obi is in the Labour Party. After all, they were saying through social media, they had more than one million votes in Osun state,” he said.

“But how many votes turned for the Labour Party? And then again, mark you, you’re talking about social media. In the north, 90 percent of our people are not tuned to social media.”

Atiku Abubakar’s interview on Arise TV

The last population projection published by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in 2020 put the total population of the 19 states in northern Nigeria at 106,178,794 in 2019. At an annual population growth rate of 2.5 percent according to the world bank, the figure will amount to 111,554,094 in 2021. Arithmetically, 90% of 111,554,094 is 95,560,914.

However, according to the NBS Telecoms Data report for 2021, the total number of active internet subscriptions in the northern region is 65,727,075. While the total number of internet users does not automatically translate to social media usage, a report published in October 2021 by Data Reportal, a global digital insights platform, estimates that at least 50% of internet users are active on social media.

50% of 65,727,075 translates to 32,863,537 which is about 29% of the total population of Northern Nigeria.

It is also worthwhile to note that social media user numbers are still growing steadily, with an average of 13 new users starting to use social media for the first time every single second per Data Reportal.

Also, there is no reliable data source that gives credence to the claim by the former Vice President

VERDICT: The claim by Atiku Abubakar that 90% of Northerners are not on social media is FALSE

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