Pictures of the Kenyan national team training in Nigeria sparked the war. (www.standardmedia.co.ke)
It began when pictures of the Kenyan national football team training in a primary school with dilapidated facilities were posted on Twitter.
It then resulted to an exchange of words between supporters of Kenya and Nigeria on twitter. Comments came from as far as the US, UK and Saudi Arabia according to trendsmap.com.
According toTrends24 #kenya and #someonetellkenya remained top trending in Nigeria until today morning while #Nigeria and #someonetellnigeria remained top trending in Kenya.
Statistics by Opinion Yetu, show mentions directed to Nigeria were more than three times those directed to Kenya.
Overall Opinion Yetu shows #someonetellnigeria mentions reached a peak of 6,021 6pm (East Africa Time) compared to #someonetellkenya that reached a peak of 1,643 at 5pm (East Africa Time) .
Earlier the Opinion Yetu statistics had shown that Nigeria had the highest number of tweets, but that has since been corrected by the analysts.
Lead researcher and chief executive of Opinion Yetu, Steven Odunga, said the huge discrepancy could have resulted with the programme having interpreted the tweets on #someonetellnigeria as from Nigeria and vice versa.
“We have changed the figures as they appear on our website and we have apologised to all Kenyans on Twitter. I do hope however that they will be much relieved following our correction,” he said.
The international media also picked up on the twitter crossfire:
Kenya vs Nigeria Twitter battle underway, after alleged mistreatment of Kenyan footballers in Nigeria. #someonetellnigeria #someonetellkenya
— BBC Africa (@BBCAfrica) March 22, 2013
#Kenya v. #Nigeria: Treatment of football team turns into epic hashtag battle aje.me/163irpr #SomeonetellNigeria#SomeonetellKenya
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) March 21, 2013
Odunga says the foreign numbers from other countries abroad would have played some role in tilting the scales although “the statistics talk for themselves”.
Time difference could also have played a major role with the discussion having heated up at 5pm when Kenyans were leaving the office with Nigerians having taken over at 6pm.
But in what might be a comeback move, Kenyans have started a Facebook page that is set to marshal support from many Kenyans who could have missed out yesterday with the page already having gained 2,200 followers within less than five hours.