Countdown To 2015: Key Procedures Declared By Nigerians For Free And Fair 2015 Elections

Abuja, Nigeria. April 22nd, 2014 – Latest Election poll results released by NOIPolls Limited revealed that even though majority (71%) of Nigerians think that INEC will conduct a free and fair election come 2015 with the main reasons for their optimism as “God will help them (INEC)” (22%) and “Credibility in past elections(21%), Nigerians have also submitted that “INEC should do the right thing without bias” (26%),  “Adequate security should be put in place” (22%) and “INEC should be absolutely independent” (14%) in order to ensure a free and fair election in 2015. These were the key findings from the second part of the NOIPolls Countdown to the 2015 Elections Series conducted in the week of April 14th 2014.

As Nigerians prepare for the 2015 election, the active participation of all stakeholders in the process to ensure a free and fair election remains one of the most critical issues in the entire election process. In line with this, some INEC[1] Electoral Commissioners have assured Nigerians that necessary mechanisms are being put in place to ensure a free and fair election. [2]  Furthermore, with the recent release of the elections timetable, Prof. Attahiru Jega, pointed out that INEC is mindful of its own operational effectiveness and best practices towards a free and fair election[3]. Still in the bid to ensure a free and fair election, during the opening ceremony for the third session of the Nigeria/US Bi-National Commission (BNC), the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield suggested that an election offences tribunal be established.[4]

Against this background, NOIPolls conducted its recent Election poll to seek the views of Nigerians regarding the2015 general elections. This is the second in the series of the NOIPolls Countdown to 2015 Elections Polls for the year 2014.  The polls are done bi-monthly.    

Respondents to the poll were asked three specific questionsFirstly, respondents were asked: Do you think INEC will conduct a free and fair election come 2015 general election? Findings reveal that that the majority (71%) of respondents think INEC will conduct a free and fair election in 2015 while 29% of the respondents responded negatively indicating they do not think INEC will succeed in this regard.

Analysis based on geo-political zones reveals that the South-East zone (81%) has the highest proportion of Nigerians who think INEC will conduct a free and fair election in 2015. This is followed by the North-East zone with 74%. In addition, more female than male respondents (77% versus 66%) think INEC will conduct a free and fair election.

 

[1] Independent National Electoral Commission

[2] www.nanngronline.com

[3] www.punchng.com

[4] www.tribune.com.ng

 

Respondents who think INEC will conduct a free and fair election (71% of the total) were further asked: If Yes, why do you think INEC will conduct a free and fair election come 2015 general election? This was an open ended question and the two main reasons mentioned stated were “I believe God will help them (INEC)(22%) closely followed by “Credibility in the past elections” (21%). Other responses include “Good preparations on ground” (15%)and “(INEC) have improved in their performance” (11%).

Analysis based on geo-political zones reveals that the North-East zone has the highest proportion of respondents who mentioned “I believe God will help them (INEC)” (50%) while the North-Central zone accounts for the largest proportion of respondents who stated “Credibility in the past elections(31%).

 

In addition, respondents who think INEC will not conduct a free and fair election (29% of the total) were also asked: If No, why do you think INEC will NOT conduct a free and fair election come 2015 general elections?  This was also an open ended question and analysis shows that the majority believe INEC will not conduct a free and fair election because “Corruption is prevalent within the INEC (32%). Other reasons include “Votes don’t count” (24%), “Past experiences showed that elections are not free and fair in Nigeria” (15%) and “They are not credible enough” (12%).

Assessing the responses from the geo-political zones standpoint revealed that the North-West zone has the highest proportion of respondents (44%) who think “Corruption is prevalent within INEC” while North-Eastzone (46%) accounts for the highest proportion of respondents that say “Votes don’t count”. In addition, more males than females (35% compared to 26%) think “Corruption is prevalent within the INEC” while more females than males (37% compared to 17%) claim “Votes don’t count”.

 

Finally, respondents were asked: In your opinion, what would you consider as the single most important procedure that should be put in place to ensure a free and fair election?  In response to this open ended question, the slight majority (26%) mentioned “INEC should do the right thing without bias” closely followed by 22% suggested “Adequate security should be put in place” while 14% claim that “INEC should be absolutely independent”.

A breakdown based on geo-political zones indicates that the North-West zone (37%) has the largest percentage of respondents who say “INEC should do the right thing without bias” while the South-Southzone (25%) accounts for the highest proportion of respondents who suggest “Adequate security should be put in place”. In addition, the South-East zone (21%) has the highest proportion of respondents that say “INEC should be absolutely independent”.

 

In conclusion, results from this current Election poll revealed that 71% of the respondents think that INEC will conduct a free and fair election come 2015 general elections and the main reasons for their optimism are “God will help them (INEC)” (22%), and  “Credibility in past elections” (21%).  Furthermore, as the 2015 elections draws close, Nigerians have suggested that “INEC should do the right thing without bias” (26%) and “Adequate security should be put in place” (22%) in order to ensure a free and fair election.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in April 15th to 17th 2014. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed. With a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise - within a range of plus or minus 3%. NOIPolls Limited, No.1 for country-specific polling services in West Africa, which works in technical partnership with the Gallup Organisation (USA), to conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com

Disclaimer

This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the general public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published.

NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact or for any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken as a result of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking.

 

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