Following the death of President Umaru Musa Yar Adua, Acting President Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as the 14th Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the 6th of May, 2010. President Jonathan has cited anti-corruption, power and electoral reform as the key issues he hopes to tackle between now and next year, when elections are scheduled to hold.
A recent survey of Nigerians conducted by NOI Polls shows that the President’s targets are in line with the key concerns of the citizenry. When asked the question ‘What policy area do you think the president should focus on in the remaining months of his tenure?’, a majority of the respondents (45% to be precise) said he should focus on power. 20% of Nigerians believe that the president should concentrate on jobs/employment, 12% listed electoral reform as priority while infrastructural development was mentioned by 9% of the respondents.
Future Elections and the Emergence of Presidential Candidates in Nigeria
As part of the poll, Nigerians were also quizzed about the application of a Zoning Formula in selecting Presidential candidates. To the question ‘Do you think/agree that there should be a zoning formula for the emergence of Presidential candidates in Nigeria?’, more than 6 in 10 (63%) respondents answered ‘No’.
33% responded in the affirmative while 4% either didn’t know or refused to answer the question.
Competence is more important........
Rather than zoning, Nigerians consider other factors to be more significant when choosing the country's president. In response to the question ‘What do you consider to be the most important criteria that should be applied in choosing/selecting the Nigerian President?’, 38% of respondents answered ‘perceived competence’
Also considered to be important by respondents is the level of education of the candidates (22%) and election manifesto/promises (20%). Ethnicity was considered the least significant factor (2% of respondents), while religion polled just 7% amongst the respondents.
The Icelandic Volcanic Ash Cloud and its Impact on the Nigerian people
Seismic activity around Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano began in December 2009 and led to an eruption on March 20th, 2010. A later, ongoing eruption beginning on April 14th resulted in a plume of ash which led to the closure of much of Europe’s airspace from the 15th of April, 2010. Apart from the short and long term environmental impact of the volcanic eruptions, many people all over the globe experienced travel disruptions.
In addition, the air line and other trade industries which rely on air travel also experienced huge financial losses.
NOI polls asked Nigerians if they were aware of the Icelandic
Volcanic Cloud, if they had been affected by it and how. 81% of people quizzed by NOI Polls were aware of the volcanic ash cloud. In addition, 79% of respondents said that they had been affected by it.
On how the respondents had been affected, 61% cited disruption to travel plans, while 20% said that they had experienced business/trade losses.
This survey shows that Nigerian’s want the President to prioritise tackling the problems in the nation’s power industry. In addition, the majority of Nigerians do not consider a zoning formula necessary in the emergence of presidential candidates but feel that selection of candidates should be based on their level of competence.
Finally, in line with global happenings, Nigerians were affected by the Icelandic Volcanic ash cloud with many feeling the impact in the areas of travel and business.
Respondents for the snap poll were randomly selected from a database of phone-owning Nigerians aged 15 and above, compiled by NOI Polls. 1,207 people took part in the telephone interviews from the 27th and 30th of April, 2010. For a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2.82 percentage points. The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.