Abuja, Nigeria. January 27th, 2015 – An election poll commissioned by BusinessDay Media and conducted by NOIPolls Limited in November 2014 revealed that more than half (57%) of the Nigerian adult population believe political campaigns are not focusing on current issues in the country; this perception cuts across all regions, although residents of North-West zone maintained a different perspective as the majority in this region believe the campaigns of politicians are focused on addressing the present issues. In line with this, a significant proportion (48%) of Nigerians stated politicians should focus on addressing security in their campaigns to make meaningful impact. This stance was mostly maintained by residents of the North-East (70%)and North-West (62%) given the current state of insecurity in these regions. Job Creation and Education were also considered as priority for focus among other areas. More findings revealed that addressing the afore-mentioned issues would greatly influence the voting decisions of most Nigerians in the 2015 elections as reported by majority of the respondents (64%) surveyed. Furthermore, a view of the pressing issues in Nigeria demonstrates Education (67%) as the most pressing national issue that needs to be tackled, followed by Electricity (39%), Infrastructure (38%), and Water (34%), among others; even though Nigerians believe current campaigns should focus on security. These were some of the key findings from the election poll.
Elections in Nigeria generally witness the adoption of several competitive strategies by political parties and candidates to solicit the support and followership of citizens; one of which is through political campaigns. Political campaigns enable candidates better know how to allocate their resources and develop better insight into how the electorate makes their voting decisions. They are organised efforts by a political party or candidate for public office to attract the support of voters in an election. Since Nigerian voters are increasingly becoming less tied to a particular party, ahead of the February 2015 general elections political candidate have heightened their campaigns with political messages in order to manage the media and to maximize the number of votes.
Against this background NOIPolls on behalf of BusinessDay conducted a poll to gauge the perception of Nigerians on the current campaigns of politicians, pressing issues that need to be addressed by politicians and the impact of addressing these issues on the voting decisions of Nigerians.
With the aim of the assessing the eagerness of Nigerians to voting in the 2015 elections, respondents were asked:Are you looking forward to voting in the 2015 general elections? Findings revealed that 83% of the respondents affirmed positively, disclosing that they are looking forward to voting in the general elections in 2015. More males (87%) expressed optimism to the 2015 general elections than females (78%).
Analysis by geo-political zones revealed that the North-West (89%) and South-East (87%) regions accounted for the largest proportions of Nigerians who expressed optimism for voting in the 2015 general elections when compared to other regions, although a majority of residents in all the geo-political zones expressed optimism in voting in the 2015 general elections, with a minimum 76%(North Central). Also, respondents aged 46-60 and 18-21 years showed more optimism for voting in the 2015 elections than other age-groups.
 Olujide, J.O. Gbadeyan, R.A. 2011. “Nigerian Electorates’ Perception of Political Advertising and Election Campaign” Journal of Social Sciences 27(3): 179-185.
Analysis by geo-political zones revealed that the North-West (89%) and South-East (87%) regions accounted for the largest proportions of Nigerians who expressed optimism for voting in the 2015 general elections when compared to other regions, although a majority of residents in all the geo-political zones expressed optimism in voting in the 2015 general elections, with a minimum 76% (North Central). Also, respondents aged 46-60 and 18-21 years showed more optimism for voting in the 2015 elections than other age-groups.
To assess the perceptions of Nigerians on the political campaigns of political candidates, respondents were asked:In your opinion, do you think the campaigns of politicians are currently focused on addressing the present issues in Nigeria? Results revealed that majority of adult Nigerians (57%) believe political campaigns are not focusing on current issues in the country. this stance was maintained by the majority across almost all geo-political zones except for the North-West zone where the majority believe that the campaigns of politicians are focused on addressing the present issues. Also, adult Nigerians (69%) aged 61 and above accounted for the highest proportion of respondents who indicated that recent political campaigns do not address current issues in Nigeria.
Subsequently, respondents were asked: In your opinion, what are the most pressing national issues politicians should focus on addressing? This question was a multiple response question meaning respondents were allowed to select more than one option. A larger proportion of respondents (67%) indicated Education as the most pressing national issue politicians should focus on tackling. This was followed by Electricity (39%), Infrastructures (38%), Water (34%), and Health (26%) among others.
Further analysis revealed that the North-East and North-West regions had the largest proportion of residents, who indicated education as the most pressing national issue politicians should focus on with 82% and 81%respectively. A larger proportion of males (69%) than females (65%) and across all adult age groups acknowledged that education is the most pressing national issue politicians should address.
Additionally, respondents were asked: which of the issues identified in the previous question were mostly addressed by past elected officials? This was a single response question, allowing respondents select the most addressed option considered in the previous question. According to results, security was selected as the most addressed national issue by past elected officials, according to 28% of respondents. This was followed by Education, Electricity, Infrastructure Development and Job Creation at 15%, 14%, 13% and 9%, respectively.
With the aim of gauging the perceptions of Nigerians on issues campaigns should focus on (based on the issues stated above), respondents were asked: Which of these issues do you think politicians should mostly focus on addressing in their campaigns towards the 2015 election? This was a single response question, meaning respondents were only allowed to select one option. Findings revealed that although Nigerians identified Education as the most pressing national issue as seen in a previous chart, however, a significant proportion (48%) of Nigerians believe politicians should focus on addressing security in their campaigns; to make meaningful impact. This is followed by Job Creation (13%), Education (8%) and Electricity (8%).
It is worthy to mention that, most residents of the North-East (70%) and North-West (62%) regions revealed politicians should address security challenges in their campaigns. The proportion of residents who consider this priority was larger in the North than in the South. Alternatively, a significant proportion of Southern residents consider job creation as an issue politicians need to address in their campaigns, than their Northern counterparts.
Finally respondents who indicated an option in the previous question were asked: To what extent would addressing the issue in campaigns influence your voting decision for a political candidate? Most surveyed respondents (64%) revealed that addressing these issues would influence their voting decision to a great extent; this stance was maintained by the majority across all regions, gender and age groups.
In addition, while 23% mentioned that addressing relevant issues in campaigns would influence their voting decisions to some extent, 13% of respondents indicated that this would influence their decisions to no extent at all. According to an age group analysis, the respondents aged 60 years and above represented the highest proportion (20%) of respondents who revealed that addressing the most pressing issue in political campaigns would not influence their voting decision.
In conclusion, findings from the poll revealed that a majority of adult Nigerians (57%) believe the campaigns by politicians do NOT focus on addressing present issues in Nigeria. In line with this, a significant proportion of respondents (48%) indicated politicians should address security in their campaigns. This was followed by Job Creation (13%), Education (8%), and Electricity (8%). Poll results also revealed that most respondents indicated that addressing pressing issues in political campaigns would influence their voting decision. However 13%mentioned it would NOT influence their decision at all. An assessment of the pressing issues in Nigeria revealed that education is considered the most pressing national issue by 67% of Nigerians. This is followed by Electricity (39%), Infrastructure (38%), Water (34%) and Health (26%) among others.
The opinion poll was commissioned by BusinessDay Media and conducted by NOIPolls in November 2014. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,500 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 2.5%. NOIPolls Limited, No. 1 for credible country-specific polling services in West Africa in a technical partnership with the Gallup Organisation (USA), conducts periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com
This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited and authorised for release by BusinessDay Media on the NOIPolls media platform to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. BusinessDay, established in 2001, is a daily business newspaper based in Lagos, Nigeria. It is the only Nigerian newspaper with a bureau in Accra, Ghana. BusinessDay Media Ltd is the leading medium for up-to-date news and insightful analysis of business, policy and the economy in Nigeria, a critical decision-making tool for investors and managers. It provides unbiased news and informed analysis on politics, governance, social and economic trends.
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.