A new election poll has put the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, ahead of three other major contenders to win the February 25, 2023 election. The new poll was conducted by Nextier, a multi-competency advisory firm.
A majority of opinion polls conducted so far by various organisations in and outside Nigeria has consistently tipped Obi to win the election even though facts on ground suggest otherwise.
The Nextier poll, conducted in rural communities, interviewed 2,000 Nigerian registered voters in 12 states across the six geopolitical zones. The team said they excluded the home states of the leading presidential and vice-presidential candidates.
The poll suggests a three-horse presidential race between Obi, Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress and Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party.
Though with a strong support base in Nigeria’s North West, particularly, his Kano home state, Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party is not considered a top contender, according to the survey.
The poll results show that Obi leads in rural communities at 40.37 per cent. Atiku is at a distant second with 26.7 per cent, closely followed by Tinubu at 20.47 per cent.
At 30 per cent, the LP candidate has the highest net favorability, the report said.
“Atiku Abubakar is at 17.3 per cent; Bola Tinubu at 4.98 percent and Kwankwaso is at -8.70 per cent,” it added.
Atiku and Tinubu are preferred by respondents with no educational attainments or people who chose not to disclose their educational status, the survey showed.
With less than 100 days to the election, eight out of 10 respondents are definite that nothing will make them change their minds and vote for another candidate. The survey stated that radio, social media, and family/friends are the main channels through which people get information on the different presidential candidates.
About 76.2 percent of Nigerians interviewed said the country is moving in the wrong direction saying that insecurity, bad governance, unemployment, a weak economy, and poverty are the most critical issues that need to be solved urgently.
In the North Central, the organisation said it visited Benue and Nasarawa States where they found that 59.8 per cent of people have made up their minds to vote for Obi.
About 18 per cent said they will cast their votes for Atiku and 16.4 per cent have decided to vote for Tinubu while 5.1 per cent are undecided.
A substantial 50.3 per cent of respondents in the North East said they will vote for the candidate of the PDP; 27.2 per cent for the candidate of the APC and 14.6 per cent for the candidate of the NNPP. Only 5.8 per cent of people interviewed in the North East said they will vote for Obi.
Similarly in the North West, 59.8 percent of Nigerians said they will vote for Atiku; followed by Tinubu, 25.4 per cent; Kwankwaso, 12.6 per cent; and Obi got 0.6 per cent.
The result, however, showed that about 67 per cent of the respondents will vote for Obi in the South South, while another 11 per cent said they will vote for Atiku. 10.7 per cent said they will vote for Tinubu while 9.8 said they were still undecided.
Expectedly in the South East, 94 per cent of respondents said their preferred candidate is Obi and a meager 2.8 per cent said they will vote for Atiku. Tinubu and Kwankwaso got 0.6 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively.
Survey findings in the South West put Tinubu ahead with 37.4 per cent; Obi at 24 per cent; Atiku at 16.5 per cent; and Kwankwaso at 2.3 per cent.
Across all age groups, Obi recorded the highest level of preference followed closely by Atiku.
On the other hand, Atiku has the highest preference among Muslim faithful while Obi is preferred by respondents that self-identify as religious or not.
The poll results also show that Obi is the preferred candidate of the demographic with high educational attainments. Also, while Atiku is preferred by the respondents who chose not to disclose their employment status (“blanks”), Obi is preferred by respondents across most of the employment groupings.