Mixed Reactions Trail Postponement of 2015 General Elections
 

Abuja, Nigeria. February 10th, 2015 – Latest snap poll results released by NOIPolls Limited have revealed that Nigerians have expressed mixed opinions regarding the postponement of the 2015 general elections. Findings from the poll revealed that Nigerians are evenly divided in support for (41 percent) and against (41 percent) the postponement of the general elections; while 18 percent of Nigerians were indifferent about the postponement. Further analysis revealed that while the North-East and North-West geopolitical zones had the highest proportion of respondents who were not in support of the postponement (49 percent each); more respondents in the South-South zone were in support of the postponement (57 percent). Also, a significant proportion of those in support of the postponement were of the opinion that the extension would grant more people the opportunity to collect their permanent voters cards (PVCs) (25 percent). Other reasons cited included ‘Security Concerns’ (20 percent) and to ‘Allow INEC time for Adequate Preparation’ (20 percent)amongst other reasons. On the other hand, respondents not in support of the postponement mainly cited‘Disruption of people’s plans’ (22 percent) as a reason for not supporting the postponement. Also some Nigerians reported the postponement ‘Has postponed our expectation for Change’ (19 percent) and to ‘Gives room for election rigging’ among other reasons. These are some of the key findings from the election postponement poll conducted in the week of February 9th 2015.

Brief Background

The 2015 general elections to elect the President, Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, Governors and Members of the State Assembly will be the fourth elections since the end of military rule in 1999 in Nigeria. The general elections which were scheduled to hold on 14th and 28th of February 2015, have postponed by six weeks to 28th of March and 11th of April 2015 due to recommendations from the national security advisor and some political party chairmen on security issues.[1]

The postponement of the general elections was confirmed by the chairman of the Independent NationalElectoral Commission(INEC), Attahiru Jega, on Saturday, 7th February 2015 barely one week to the presidential election, during a press briefing. Against this background NOIPolls conducted its latest poll to assess the awareness and support of Nigerians on the postponement of the 2015 general elections.

Survey Findings

Respondents to the poll were asked four specific questions. In order to gauge the awareness of Nigerians on the postponement of the general elections, respondents were asked: Are you aware that the General Elections have been postponed from 14th February to 28th March 2015? Findings revealed that the majority of Nigerians (93 percent) irrespective of gender, geo-political zone and age-group confirmed their awareness of the postponement of the general elections while only 7 percent of the respondents claimed not to be informed about the postponement of the General Elections.

[1] http://allafrica.com/stories/201502070324.html

 

With the aim of measuring the support of Nigerians for the postponement of the general elections, respondents were asked: Are you in support of the postponement of the General Elections to 28th March 2015? Findings revealed an even split in the proportion of Nigerians in support and not in support of the postponement of the election with 41 percent each. However 18 percent were indifferent about the postponement of the general elections.

The results indicate a clear division between the Northern and Southern regions of Nigeria on the postponement of the election; as further analysis by geo-political zone reveals that the South-South zone has the largest proportion of respondents who support the postponement of the general elections. The North-East zone (49 percent) and the North-West zone (49 percent) accounted for the highest number of Nigerians who do not support the postponement of the general elections. Analysis by gender reveals that more male (46 percent) than female (35 percent) respondents do not support the election postponement.

 

Subsequently, respondents who showed support for the postponement of the general elections (41percent of the total) were further asked: Why are you in support of the postponement of the general elections? Findings revealed that 25 percent of Nigerians support the postponement of the general elections as it ‘Allows more time for PVC collection’; this is followed by 20 percent who indicated  ‘Security concerns’ (20 percent) and another 20 percent who were of the opinion that the postponement would give INEC time for adequate preparation for the elections amongst other reasons.

Further analysis by geo-political zones indicates that the South-East zone (46 percent) accounted for the largest proportion of respondents in support the postponement of the as it ‘allows more time for PVC collection’, while the North-East zone (38 percent) represents the largest proportion of Nigerians who support the postponement of the general elections due to ‘security concerns’. 

 

Finally, respondents who do not support the postponement (41 percent of the total) were also asked: Why are you not in support of the postponement of the general elections? Findings revealed varied reasons for lack of support of the postponement. 22 percent of respondents not in support of the postponement indicated ‘disruption of people’s plans’, as a reason for not supporting the postponement of the election. In addition, some Nigerians think it ‘has postponed their expectation for change’ (19 percent) and it ‘gives room for election rigging’ (11 percent) amongst other reasons.

Further analysis by geo-political zones revealed that the South-East zone (40 percent) accounts for the largest proportion of respondents who do not support the postponement of the elections due to the disruption in people’s plans, while the North-East zone (25 percent) accounts for the largest proportion of Nigerians who do not support the postponement claiming it has postponed their expectation for change. 

 

In conclusion, the findings from this current poll have revealed that majority of Nigerians (93 percent) are aware of postponement of the 2015 general elections from the 14th February to the 28th March 2015 and 28th February to 11th April 2015. Also, findings revealed an even split in the proportions of Nigerians in support and not in support of the postponement of the general elections (41 percent each). The results show that significant proportions of respondents support the postponement for various reason: ‘Allow time to obtain PVC’ (25 percent)‘Security Concerns’ (20 percent) and to ‘Allow INEC time for Adequate Preparation’ (20 percent) amongst others. On the other hand, those who do not support the postponement cited reasons such as:‘Have disrupted people’s plans’ (22 percent)‘Have postponed their expectation for Change’ (19 percent);and ‘Gives room for election rigging’ to mention a fewFinally, the results of this poll have indicated a clear division in the country, particularly between the Northern and Southern regions resulting from political tension. Therefore, it is critical that all stakeholders in the forthcoming elections – INEC, political parties, candidates, security agencies, CSOs and the media etc – must work together to ensure that the key issues highlighted for the postponement of the elections are addressed accordingly; and Nigerians informed on milestones achieved, to avoid possible pre and post-elections civil unrest.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted on the 9th of  February 2015. 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 95percent confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise - within a range of plus or minus 3percent. NOIPolls Limited, No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa, works in technical partnership with the Gallup Organisation (USA). We 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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