In a press release obtained by Concise News, Ayodeji Marquis, a software engineer at Microsoft, explained that he was moved to write the program for the software that crunched the figures from twitter trends because of the intensity and emotions generated by Nigeria’s presidential elections.
He writes: “The Nigerian election is very much anticipated, because it is a time when Nigerians reflect the situation of the country and its governance. It is a time to think about what should be and not be of the country, and due to this, emotions are very high during this period.
“Due to the intensity of the environment, the media, Twitter being one them, is constantly filled with updates of the political situations and what my fellow Nigerians are thinking of the it. Due to this intensity, an idea came to me and which made me tweet the following below:”
Will be doing a sentiment analysis on the Nigerian presidential election this weekend. There will be a live stream of the approval percentages of the candidates based of twitter. When the election is over, the candidate with the most approval ratings ‘should’ be the winner
— Social Prefect of Seattle (@DejiMarquis) February 13, 2019
The software algorithm in a nutshell is a program developed by Ayodeji to perform sentiment analysis on each of the presidential candidates based on data from twitter trends.
“The idea behind sentiment analysis is this – you have a sentence and the algorithm detects whether or not that sentence is positive; so, each sentence is scored +1 or -1,” explains Ayodeji.
“Friday (Feb 15th) night came and I had the code written in 5 hours. I also set up a twitter bot, @StreamElection, that would constantly tweet the results (approval ratings) from my program,” he said.
Ayodeji claimed that he began running the program an hour before INEC postponed the election. While running, he said he was impressed by the data and results being generated that even when the election was cancelled, he let it run for another extra three hours just to see if any of the candidates approval ratings would be affected by the postponement.
To his amazement, the results remained pretty consistent.
Below is the outcome of Ayodeji Marquis’ sofware-generated possible outcome of Nigeria’s presidential result:
Based on the result, President Muhammadu Buhari, with the highest approval rating of all candidates according to Twitter data, is expected to win his re-election bid by a landslide, with Atiku Abubakar of PDP coming second.
Ayodeji Marquis also revealed that he plans to re-run his algorithm again on Saturday, February 23rd, the day of the presidential election, and compare his software-generated predictions with the final outcome of the poll.