62nd Independence Day Commemoration; 7 in 10 Nigerians Express Pride in Being Nigerians, Support Call for Restructuring
Abuja, Nigeria: 27th September 2022– A new public opinion poll conducted by NOIPolls in commemoration of the 62nd Independence Day has revealed that Nigerians take pride in being citizens of Nigeria as 77 percent of adult Nigerians surveyed affirmed that they are proud to be Nigerians because they believe it is their father land (63 percent) and they have nowhere else to call home. This is fulfilling, especially in the face of insecurity and other critical challenges which could affect the corporate existence of the country.
Interestingly, further finding indicated that 55 percent of adult Nigerians nationwide expressed support for the restructuring of the country mainly because they believe each region will be able to develop its own resources (55 percent). The finding showed that the call for restructuring resonates more with Nigerians residing in the North-West (63 percent) and South-West (63 percent) given that they accounted for the larger proportion of Nigerians who made this assertion.
Furthermore, in the assessment of adult Nigerians, the greatest challenges the country is currently facing includes insecurity (37 percent), bad governance (22 percent), bad economy (16 percent), corruption (8 percent), poverty (4 percent), unemployment (3 percent), poor educational system (2 percent), and disunity/tribalism (2 percent) amongst other challenges.
It is understandable to note that a larger proportion of adult Nigerians (37 percent) feel that the country is not secure given recent media news on the activities of bandits and kidnappers across the country. However, the proportion of adult Nigerians who mentioned poor educational system is surprising given that university students have been at home for over seven (7) months due to the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) strike action over unpaid allowances by Federal Government.
These are some of the key highlights from the recent Independence Day Poll conducted by NOIPolls in the week commencing September 19th, 2022, to feel the pulse of Nigerians as regards the commemoration of Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Anniversary.
Nigeria’s Independence Day is commemorated yearly on October 1st since 1960 and the 62nd Independence Day will be commemorated on October 1st, 2022. Nigeria’s independence echoes the pride of citizenship which embodies the rights and duties of Nigerians or the essential for cultivating civic virtues and democratic values.
The Nationalists who fought colonialism, nurtured expectations of political independence that would offer a sustainable path to redemption. But as it has turned out, the initial hope of independence has been squandered through bad governance. While Nigerians take pride in being citizens, the denial of full basic privileges of citizenship to individuals or groups, for whatever reasons, is usually accompanied by a drastic fall in citizens’ level of nationalism, participation, and trust in political institutions. Against this background, NOIPolls conducted this poll to feel the pulse of Nigerians regarding the 62nd Independence Day celebration.
The first question sought to gain insight on the level of patriotism amongst adult Nigerians nationwide. When asked whether they were proud to be Nigerians or not, it is heart-warming to note that a vast proportion of Nigerians answered in the affirmative. Overall, 77 percent of adult Nigerians nationwide were proud to be Nigerians, while 22 percent felt otherwise.
Further analysis by geo-graphical distributions of the responses makes it more interesting. Across the six geopolitical zones, the least expression of pride in being a Nigerian was expressed in the South-East, where 58 percent of respondents still expressed pride in being Nigerian. This was followed by the South-South at 70 percent, and South West at 74 percent respectively. One would have expected a totally different pattern of responses from the South East given recent increase in the pace and tone of agitations and counter agitations in the region.
Nigerians who pride in being Nigerians were further probed for reasons and 63 percent disclosed that they are proud because it is their father land. This is followed in a far distance by 10 percent who mentioned freedom while 7 percent said it is because Nigeria is blessed with natural resources amongst other reasons.
Similarly, out of 20 percent who claimed not to be proud of the country, 40 percent attributed it to bad governance/leadership while 26 percent said it is because of the high rate of poverty in the country. Other mentioned include poor economy/high inflation rate (16 percent), insecurity challenge and corruption (5 percent each), and corruption (4 percent) amongst other reasons.
Furthermore, the survey also gauged the perception of Nigerians regarding the greatest challenge Nigeria is currently facing. In the assessment of respondents, the greatest challenge the country is currently facing include insecurity (37 percent), bad governance (22 percent), bad economy (16 percent), corruption (8 percent), poverty (4 percent), unemployment (3 percent), poor educational system (2 percent), and disunity/tribalism (2 percent) amongst other challenges.
It is understanding to note that a larger proportion of adult Nigerians (37 percent) felt that the country is not secure given recent media news on the activities of bandits and kidnapping across the country. Also, the proportion of adult Nigerians who mentioned poor educational system is surprising given that university students have been at home for over seven (7) months because of the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) strike action over unpaid allowances by Federal Government.
Subsequently, when respondents were asked: do you support the call to restructure Nigeria? The poll result revealed that more than half of adult Nigerians (55 percent) disclosed their support for the restructuring of Nigeria. The finding suggests that the call for restructuring resonates more with Nigerians residing in the North-West (63 percent) and South-West (63 percent) given that they accounted for the larger proportion of Nigerians who made this assertion.
On the contrary, 21 percent do not support the call to restructure Nigeria while 24 percent were indifferent about restructuring the country. Respondents living in the South-East had the larger share of Nigerians (51 percent) who were indifferent about the call for restricting the country.
Out of the 55 percent who support the call to restructure the country, the poll revealed that 55 percent support restricting because it will make each region develop its own resources. This is followed by those who mentioned that it will improve governance (9 percent), each region having equal rights (8 percent), solve insecurity (7 percent), improve citizen’s welfare (6 percent) and foster peace and unity (4 percent) amongst other genuine reasons.
Correspondingly, out of the 21 percent who do not support the call to restructure Nigeria, 50 percent disclosed that restructuring the country will not change anything. Also, while 35 percent maintained that the current system is good, 5 percent stated that the status quo is fine but needs a good leadership.
Also, out of the 24 percent who were indifferent about restructuring, 9 percent said that it may not change anything while 7 percent stated that restructuring will not make any difference. In addition, 4 percent admitted that they do not know anything about restructuring amongst other mentions.
Consequently, Nigerians were asked if they are aware about the passing away of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The poll findings showed that 9 in 10 Nigerians are aware of the Queen’s death. This assertion cuts across gender, geographical zones, and age-group. On the other hand, 10 percent stated that they were not aware of her death.
Further findings showed that 48 percent (13+22+13) of adult Nigerians expressed sadness and sympathised with the entire people of the United Kingdom over the passing away of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
In conclusion, the poll is reflective of the level of optimism amongst Nigerians despite years of bad governance which has affected sustainable development. Given that nationalism is an essential component of statehood, it generally represents the deep feelings of attachment and belonging in citizens that inspire supportive attitudes and behaviors towards nationalistic symbols. One way of expressing this is the pride of being a citizen of a country. Thus, these findings call for strengthening of democracy through inclusive governance, which allows participation of Nigerians to foster unity and development in Nigeria.
Finally, for sustenance of this embedded pride in the Nation, there is need for government to create and nature a culture of inclusive governance with two-way symbiotic relationship between the government and the Nigerian citizens. This will significantly raise eagerness and participation towards governance, while enhancing common pursuit of national development for the good of the Nigerian populace, thus automatically reinforcing the feeling of patriotism and pride in the nation.
The opinion poll was conducted in the week commencing September 19th, 2022. It involved telephone interviews of a proportionate nationwide sample of 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical regions and 36 states and the FCT of the country. Interviews were conducted in 5 languages – Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Pidgin English, and English. Although we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained were statistically precise – within a margin of error of plus or minus 4.65%; we recognize that the exclusive use of telephone polling has its limitation of excluding non-phone-owning Nigerians. Nonetheless, with the country’s tele density put over 90 percent by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), we consider our telephone polling approach appropriate. Also, given the rigorous scientific process of randomization and stratification applied, we can confidently stand by the validity of our methodology and approach.
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.
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 public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as authors whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited, or published. NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect the 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 any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken because 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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 Engin F. Isin, and Bryan S. Turner, ‘Investigating Citizenship: An Agenda for Citizenship Studies’, Citizenship Studies, 11: 1, 2007, p. 5