Nigerians Divided Over Choice of Presidential Candidates

Abuja, Nigeria. October 18, 2010

As more Nigerians declare their intentions to run for office in the 2011 presidential elections, NOI Polls has embarked on an ongoing exercise to track the popularity of presidential aspirants as well as other related electoral events. 

In a recent survey, Nigerians were asked their opinions on selected presidential candidates.  

General Buhari (Retired)
Participants in the survey were asked if they were aware of retired General Buhari’s intention to run for office in the forthcoming elections.  Well over 9 in 10 people (97%) surveyed were aware of this fact. When asked if they felt he should run for office, 41% said he should ,while nearly 6 in 10 people (58%) said he should not run.

 

 

The Majority of the people (70%) who said he should run, cited  “his right” as a Nigerian as the reason he should run.  8% said he had the “experience” needed, 5% said “he is a man of integrity”, while the reason given by another 8% was “he is a good man”.

 

The highest proportion (34%) of respondents who said he should not run, mentioned a “preference for other candidates” as the reason why he should not run for office. 22% said they wanted a “new generation of leaders”, while 14% each cited a “general dislike” for the candidate and an inability to “provide the positive change need in Nigeria”.

 

Governor Bukola Saraki
While 88% of the people polled were aware of Governor Saraki’s intention to run for office, only slightly over one-third (35%) of respondents felt he should run. 62% said he should not run while 3% did not have anything to say on the issue.

 

 

The vast majority (84%) of those who said he should run for office, mentioned “his right” as a nigerian as the reason he should run. 6% said he is a “good man”, while 35% each said he is “experienced/ competent” and he is a “man of integrity”.

 

29% of those who said Governor Saraki should not run, cited a “preference for other candidates” as their major reason. 16% cited a “general dislike” for the candidate,14% said he is “inexperienced/incompetent”;while 11% each mentioned a “bad reputation” and an inability to “provide the positive change needed in Nigeria”, as their reasons.

 

President Goodluck Jonathan
Almost all (99%) the people polled said they were aware of president Jonathan’s intention to contest in the upcoming presidential elections. 87% of respondents said they feel he should run for office. This figure is slightly higher than a similar poll conducted in August 2010, before  the president declared his intentions to contest, where 81% felt he should run.

 

 

Again, majority of respondents ( 23%) who said he should run, mentioned “his right” as a Nigerian as their reason. 18% cited “experience/competence”, 16% each said he is “innovative/progressive” and he is a “man of integrity”; while 10% and 12% said he is a “good man” and he “represents a new generation of leaders” respectively.

 

Again, majority of respondents ( 23%) who said he should run, mentioned “his right” as a Nigerian as their reason. 18% cited “experience/competence”, 16% each said he is “innovative/progressive” and he is a “man of integrity”; while 10% and 12% said he is a “good man” and he “represents a new generation of leaders” respectively.

 

Majority (22%) of the respondents who felt he should not run cited a desire for a “new generation of leaders” as their reason.  20 % mentioned a preference for other candidates, 11% each mentioned the zoning formula in PDP meant it was the “Northerners turn” and a “general dislike” for the candidate.  It is important to note that 3% and 1 % of the respondents cited he “recent mishaps in the country” and an “INEC under the president cannot conduct free and fair elections” respectively, as their reasons.

 

Respondents for the snap polls were randomly selected from a database of phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 and above across the six geopolitical zones in the country, compiled by NOI Polls. 1058 people took part in the telephone interviews conducted from the 7th to the 11th of October, 2010. For a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

This poll is part of the ongoing snap poll exercise conducted by NOI Polls to rapidly assess public sentiments following various electoral events. NOI Polls is a Nigeria based opinion research organization which Works in technical partnership with Gallup Polls (USA), to conduct periodic opinion polls on various socioeconomic issues in Nigeria.