Nigeria At 55; ‘Unity Of The Nation’ And ‘Telecommunications’ Considered Top Most Achievements Since Independence

Abuja, Nigeria. September 29th, 2015 – The yearly Independence Day Special Edition Poll results released by NOIPolls Limited have revealed that Nigerians consider ‘unity of the nation’ (20 percent) as the most important achievement of the nation since independence; alongside Telecommunications (15 percent) and Democracy (13 percent). These have remained consistent in the top three greatest achievements of Nigeria as perceived by Nigerians over the past three years. Moreover, security topped the list of the most important issues Nigeria as a nation should address in the next one year as reported by majority of Nigerians (22 percent each).  

More findings revealed that most Nigerians (84 percent) believe the Nigerian Independence day is worth celebrating because it signifies ‘the day Nigeria was liberated from colonial rule’ (26 percent) and some say ‘it fosters Peace and unity’ (13 percent) in the country amongst other positive reasons. On the other hand, some Nigerians (16 percent) think the Independence day is not worth celebrating, mainly due to ‘poor development’ (23 percent) in the country, hence no need to celebrate the Nigerian Independence Day.

Finally, as Nigeria celebrates 55 years of independence, Nigerians have declared they love being Nigerians and this is mostly due to the perceived ‘peace and unity’ (22 percent) that exist in the country, as well as the ‘cultural diversity’ (16 percent) as one of the  key characteristics of the nation. In addition, ‘Late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’ (13 percent), ‘Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo’(12 percent) and Muhammadu Buhari (12 percent) topped the list of Nigeria’s founding fathers/leaders who have inspired Nigerians the most. These are the key findings from the 55th Independence Day Special Edition Poll conducted in the week of September 21st 2015.

Brief Background

The Amalgamation of the British protectorates in 1914 and the subsequent Independence of the nation in 1960 has been very symbolic in the history of Nigeria.  On the 1st of October 1960, the sovereign rights of the Nigerian nation seized by the British were eventually recovered and welcomed with great joy by the Nigerian people. Since then, 1st October has been celebrated annually to mark the independence of a people who had been under decades of colonial rule. Nationwide, ceremonious parades, military processions and speeches, culminating with the remembrance of founding fathers who played critical roles in the struggle for the country's independence and subsequent democracy, fallen heroes and a spray of confetti is observed. October 1, 2015 marks Nigeria’s 55th Independence celebration, and as usual, the Nigerian people have their views on various topics and issues that affect the nation. 

Against this background, NOIPolls conducted its fourth yearly Independence poll to seek the perceptions of Nigerians regarding the Nigerian Independence, their level of Patriotism, and Nation-building.

Survey Findings

Respondents to the poll were asked six specific questions. Respondents to the first question were asked: In your opinion, do you think Nigeria Independence is worth celebrating? The outcome revealed that majority of adult Nigerians (84 percent) surveyed believe that the Nigeria Independence day is worth celebrating and this cuts across gender, geo-political zone and age-group.

Respondents were further asked: What is the reason for your response above? a larger proportion of Nigerians  (26 percent) think the independence Day is worth celebrating because it signifies ‘the day Nigeria was liberated from colonial rule’ and that ‘it fosters Peace and unity’ (13 percent) in the country amongst other positive reasons. On the other hand, most respondents who think the Independence Day is not worth celebrating believe there has been ‘poor development’ (23 percent) ‘, 'nothing to show for it’ (14 percent),  and that the ‘economy is declining’ (13 percent), hence no need to celebrate the Nigeria Independence Day.

Thirdly, respondents were asked: What do you love most about being a Nigerian? The survey revealed that most Nigerians love being Nigerians because of the perceived ‘peace and unity’ (22 percent) that exist in the country. 16 percent say it is because of the ‘cultural diversity’ in Nigeria amongst other reasons. It is worth noting that Nigeria has over 250 cultural heritages. Nigeria’s rich heritage speak volumes of the adaptability and diligence of her people.    

Subsequently, to ascertain which Nigeria’s leader inspire Nigerians the most, respondents were asked: In your opinion, which Nigeria’s founding father/past leaders inspire you the most? The findings revealed that most Nigerians (13 percent) are ordinarily inspired by Late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. He was one of the leading figures of modern Nigerian nationalism and the head of state of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966. He served as the second and last Governor-General from 1960 to 1963 and the first President of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966, holding the presidency throughout the Nigerian First Republic.[1]

This is closely followed by respondents (12 percent each) who are inspired by Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Muhammadu Buhari. Chief Obafemi Awolowo was a Nigerian nationalist and statesman who played a key role in Nigeria's independence movement, the First and Second Republics and the Civil War. He is most notable as the outstanding first premier of the Western Region but was also a successful federal commissioner for finance and Vice President of the Federal Executive Council in the Civil War and was thrice a major contender for his country's highest office.[2] Other leaders on the list are Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan (11 percent each) amongst others.

With the aim of ascertaining the most significant issues Nigeria as a nation should address, respondents were asked: What is the single most important issue Nigeria as a nation should address in the next one year? The 2015 responses showed that majority of Nigerians consider ‘corruption’ (22 percent) and ‘security’ (22 percent) as high priority issues Nigeria as a nation should address within the next one year. This could also be tied to the present anti-corruption campaign by the president and the lingering security issues in the North-East region. This is closely followed by ‘job creation’ (21 percent) amongst other issues.

In 2014, Security and corruption were considered the top most issues to be addressed. Security in 2014 was at its peak and that was the same year over 200 school girls were abducted from a secondary school in chibok town of Borno state. In 2013, ‘job creation’ (22 percent), and in 2012, ‘electricity’ (18 percent) was considered to be the most important issues Nigeria as nation should address. 

Finally, to evaluate Nigeria’s greatest achievement since independence, respondents were asked: At 55 years what do you consider to be the greatest achievement of Nigeria? The responses in 2015 revealed that majority of Nigerians (20 percent) believe that ‘unity of the nation’ has been the most important achievement since independence. It was slightly rumoured that the nation Nigeria would divided in 2015, hence the reason for this result.

Trend analysis shows that ‘democracy’ was the greatest achievement in Nigeria in 2014 (19 percent) and in 2013 (22 percent). However, ‘unity of the nation’ and ‘telecommunications’ has remained consistent in the top three greatest achievement Nigeria as a nation has achieved since independence as reported by Nigerians.

In conclusion, 84 percent of Nigerians believe that the Nigeria Independence day is worth celebrating because it signifies ‘the day Nigeria was free from colonial rule’ while, most respondents who think the Independence Day is not worth celebrating because of ‘poor development’ (23 percent) in the country.

More findings show that Nigerians love being Nigerians because of the perceived ‘peace and unity’ (22 percent) that exist in the country. Also, corruption and security topped the list of the most important issues Nigeria as a nation should address in the next one year as reported by majority of Nigerians (22 percent each). Finally, ‘Late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’ (13 percent), ‘Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo’ (12 percent) and muhammadu Buhari (12 percent) topped the list of Nigeria’s founding fathers/leaders who has inspired Nigerian the most and in 2015, ‘unity of the nation’ (20 percent) has been the most important achievement since independence as revealed by adult Nigerians surveyed

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in the week of 21st September 2015. 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. 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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