Nigerians (55%) Advocate For The Removal Of Emergency Rule During Elections

Abuja, Nigeria. August 26th, 2014 - Latest Election poll results released by NOIPolls Limited have revealed that 55% of adult Nigerians surveyed are of the opinion that the emergency rule imposed on three states in the North-East region should be lifted during the 2015 electionsThis stance was mainly advocated by by a high majority (72%) of repondents from the North-East zone (which has states including Borno, Yobe and Adamawa under emergency rule); however, the slight majority across all the Southern regions feel the emergency rule should still prevail. Findings also revealed that the majority (40%) of respondents interviewed believe it will be “somewhat safe” for INEC to conduct elections in states under the emergency rule.  Further assessment on the anticipated level of security during the 2015 elections revealed that Nigerians (68%)  expect noting less than a“very secure” vicinity during this period, however a fair proportion of respondents from the North-East zone (22%) anticipate an insecure vicinity during the 2015 election. Moreover, the majority of adult Nigerians (79%) have faith in the ability of the Nigerian security agencies to preserve law and order during the 2015 elections. These were some of the key findings from the Countdown to the 2015 Election Poll conducted in the week of August 18th 2014.

 
Brief Background
As preparations heat up ahead of the 2015 general elections, insecurity  prior to and during the election period continues to be a critical issue of debate. Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State recently stated during a courtesy visit by the students from the Royal College of Defence Studies, United Kingdom, that the level of insecurity in the nation is a threat to free, fair and credible elections and this may  impede the ability and the desire of Nigerians to make a selection in the 2015 general elections.[1] In line with this the Federal Government reaffirmed its commitment to  overcoming the current security challenges facing the nation before the 2015 general elections.[2]
 
Still in the bid to tackle the current security challenges facing the nation,  the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, recently assured Nigerians at the decoration of eight newly promoted officers, that the police would lead other agencies in ensuring a peaceful conduct of 2015 elections. This highlights the need  for more proactive methods to combat insecurity in Nigeria to ensure the long term safety and security of the masses and nation, as well as to prevent fraud and violence especially during the 2015 general elections.[3]
 
Against this background, NOIPolls conducted its Countdown to the 2015 Election poll to seek the views of Nigerians regarding security issues during the 2015 general elections. This is the fifth in the series of election polls conducted by NOIPolls (the first one was conducted in April 2013) and the fourth in the series of bi-monthly polls that will be conducted as Nigeria counts down to the elections in 2015.        
 
Key Findings
Respondents to the poll were asked five specific questions. In order to guage the expectations of Nigerians on the degree of safety in their vicinity during the 2015 elections, respondents were asked: How secure do you expect your locality to be during the 2015 general election? Findings revealed that 68% of the respondents expect their neighborhoods to be“very secure” during the 2015 general elections. This is followed by 24% of the respondents who expect  it to be “somewhat secure”.  Also,  7%  expect their locality to be  insecure, while 1%indicated their vicinity will not be secure at all during the 2015 general election.  
 
Geo-political zone analysis shows that the South-East zone has the highest proportion of respondents (80%) who expect their area to be “very secure” while the North-East zone accounted for the highest proportion of respondents who expect it to be “somewhat secure” and “not secure” with 33% and 22% respectively. 81% of the respondents aged 61 years and above expect their locality to be “very secure” during the 2015 general elections.
 

[1]http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/06/insecurity-threat-2015-polls-fashola/#sthash.8GCmHxCd.dpuf 
[2]http://www.dailytimes.com.ng/article/security-challenges-will-be-over-2015-elections-omeri
[3]http://www.informationng.com/2014/08/police-will-lead-other-agencies-to-ensure-2015-poll-says-acting-ig.html

 

To assess the views of Nigerians concerning the state of emergency in the North-East region, respondents were asked: Do you think the emergency rule existing in some Northern states should be lifted during the February 2015 elections? 55% of adult Nigerians indicated that the emergency rule should be lifted during the 2015 elections while 45%indicated that it should not be lifted.

The slight majority across all the Southern regions think the emergency rule imposed in some North-Eastern states should be maintained even during the election period. The reverse is the case for the Northern regions where majority think the emergency rule should be lifted during the elections, except for the North-Central zone where there was a tie as to whether the emergency rule should be lifted or not. It is pertinent to note that respondents from the North-East region (which currently have some states under emergency rule due to terrorist activities) feel strongly that the emergency rule should be lifted during the 2015 general election as indicated by a clear majority (72%).
 
A higher proportion of respondents aged 61 years (76%) and above  think the emergency rule should be lifted, while there was an equal split in the stance of respondents aged between 18 – 21 years as 50% each think the emergency rule should and should not be lifted.

 

Subsequently respondents were asked: In your opinion, how safe would it be for INEC to conduct elections in states under emergency rule? Majority (40%) of the respondents interviewed believe it would be “somewhat safe” for INEC to conduct elections in states under the emergency rule. 27% of the respondents believe it would be “very safe”; another 27%believe it would not be safe, while 6% of the respondents  believe it  would  not be safe at all.

Rating according to geo-political zone indicates that the North-East zone has the highest (37%)percentage of respondents who are of the opinion that it would be “very safe” for INEC to conduct elections in states under emergency rule. The North-West zone has the highest (48%)proportion of respondents who stated it would be “somewhat safe”, the South-South zone has the highest (39%) ratio of respondents who think it will not be safe,  while the South-West zone accounted for the largest proportion of respondents (10%) who stated it will not be safe at all to conduct elections in states under emergency rule.

 

Finally respondents were asked: How confident are you in the ability of the Nigerian security agencies in maintaining law and order during the 2015 elections? Findings revealed that the majority of Nigerians (79%: 37%+42%) are confident in the ability of the security agencies to maintain law and order during the 2015 elections. On the contrary, 21% of the respondents surveyed reported that they are not confident that the security agencies can maintain law and order during the 2015 elections.

Findings from the geo-political zones revealed that the South-East zone has the greatest number of respondents (85%) who are confident in the ability of the Nigerian security agencies to maintain law and order during 2015 election, while the North-West zone has the highest proportion of respondents (27%) who are doubtful in the ability of  the security agencies to maintain law and order during the 2015 election. Likewise, respondents aged 61 years and above (91%) are more confident in the ability of the Nigerian security agencies to preserve law and order during the 2015 election.

 

In conclusion, the recent poll results have revealed that 68% of the respondents expect their neighborhoods to be very secure during the 2015 general elections with the South-East zone accounting for the highest proportion (80%) of this group. More findings revealed that 55% of adult Nigerians think  the emergency rule imposed in some Northern states should be lifted during the 2015 elections. This stance was mostly influenced by respondents from the  North-East region (which currently have some states under emergency rule due to terrorists activities) who feel strongly that the emergency rule should be lifted during the 2015 general election as indicated by a clear majority (72%). Furthermore, majority (40%) of the respondents interviewed believe it would be “somewhat safe” for INEC to conduct elections in states under the emergency rule and the majority (79%: 37%+42%) are confident in the ability of the security agencies to maintain law and order during the 2015 elections.

 
Survey Methods
The opinion poll was conducted in the week of August 18th to 22nd 2014. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1000 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, No1 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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