Nigeria’s February presidential election to be the keenest contested ever— Survey

A survey by a pan-African non-partisan research network, Afrobarometre, has revealed that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the All Progressives Congress, APC, are likely going to get 42 per cent each of all votes cast in next month’s presidential election describing the election as the closest on record.

Despite the closeness of the poll, the research, conducted in conjunction with CLEEN Foundation, however revealed that most Nigerians are “dissatisfied with current economic conditions” and not impressed with the country’s democracy,” suggesting that those who said they would vote for president Goodluck Jonathan are doing would do so for reasons other than performance.

When asked which party they expect to win 40 per cent said the PDP while 38 per cent gave it to the APC but Afrobarometre said the difference lies between the polls margin of error.

The survey also found that the youngest (18-25) and oldest (56-65) groups of voters favoured the PDP over the APC. Forty-two per cent of the 18-25 year-old said they would vote for the PDP as opposed to 35 per cent favouring the APC while 38 per cent of the 56-65 year-old favour the ruling party as opposed to 33 per cent for the APC. However those in the age bracket of 36-45 who favour the APC.

The survey also showed that PDP is strongest in the South South (65 per cent, APC 20 per cent), South East (61 per cent, APC 4 per cent) and North Central (45 per cent, APC 35 per cent). The APC is strongest in North West (59 per cent, PDP 20 per cent), South West (46 per cent, PDP 19 per cent), and North East (44 per cent and PDP 43 per cent).

According to the research, three quarters of the population (74 per cent) say the country is headed in the wrong direction economically; a four per cent increase from two year ago while 70 per cent expressed a pessimistic projection about the economy.

A large percentage of respondents (78 per cent) expressed lack of faith in government’s job creation efforts, 78 per cent again said has failed in the fight against corruption and 68 per cent said they were not impressed in its drive to improve electricity. Also 51 per cent said the government has not done enough in checkmating violent extremists in the country. However, the government go a commendable rating for its ability to stop the spread of Ebola. Ninety-four per cent said the government did well.

While public appraisal of the government’s ability to handle key national challenges is woeful, the populace seems to be gravitating towards the opposition as a more viable alternative. Public trust in the opposition rose from 24 per cent two years ago to 31 per cent. Thirty-eight per cent of those interviewed disagrees that the opposition presents a viable alternative while 31 per cent say they are not sure.

However, despite the overwhelming despondency about the economy and the governance, the Afrobarometre survey revealed that Nigerians have strong faith in the democratic process and their choice to vote for whom they choose to. A whooping 80 per cent of the respondent say they are free vote for who they choose while 77 per cent said elections is the best system for choosing leaders. Ironically, 68 per cent said they lack confidence in election as a means to “enable voters to remove from office leaders who do not do what the people want”

Fifty per cent however expressed concern about increasing intimidation in the current electoral process. This represents an alarming 34 per cent increase from just two years ago. This result is in tandem with several prognoses that the forth-coming election would be marred by outbreak of violent attacks in several parts of the country.

The survey also suggested that the turnout for the election would be impressive with 78 per cent of those interviewed said they would vote.

Surprisingly against the common narration that both leading parties are almost identical in ideology, a whooping 68 per cent say, “There are important differences between the ruling and opposition parties.”

Twenty-one per cent say the major differences are in the integrity or honesty of party leaders; 17 per cent say the differences are in economic and development policies while 14 per cent say the main difference are in the religious, ethnic, or regional identities of party leaders or members.


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  • Wähala

    “Afrobarometer” or whatever they’re called need to get rid of the “Afro” in their heads so some fresh air in the brain will help them with clear analysis and realistic reasoning. They certainly did not research or study the “mood-of-the-nation” thus, their prediction followed the pattern of voting in 2011 with minor variations to make it look close but in favor of the PDP. If elections are held in Nigeria, Dumbo and the PDP cannot win in more than 8 states and that has been my prediction after the presidential primaries. Even with the public broadcast slander of Gen. Buhari, AIT which is owned by President Dumbo’s associate ran a poll 2 days ago on the elections and Dumbo was being mauled so badly they pulled the online voting as the margin soared to 79% for Buhari, and 21% for Dumbo and his PDP. But the clearest indicator of the possible outcome is PDP frantic efforts to get Buhari disqualified or the elections postponed, even accusing INEC of bias and threatening vote of no confidence in the electoral body. So, this clowns should go back and talk to Nigerians on the streets and stop fooling themselves with unscientific and rather crass predictions. Afterall, how many elections have they correctly called in the past anywhere in Africa? Chop-i-Chop Clowns!

    • King Carlos

      Fani Kayode is the one behind the new PDP strategy, you know he’s stubborn. But he has failed on this one.

    • Ajayi Ifayemi

      Don’t mind them. They will soon come back and tell us they took this poll April last year.

  • victo amadi

    This research is just PDP research. There is no way in north west PDP will get 20% it’s ZERO%

    • israel amulum

      Wait and see.this is not Internet magic oo

  • kwango

    This is a ploy to decieve the arrogant PDP until they will not understand what hit them.

    • Wähala

      It is another PDP fringe group trying to hoodwink Nigerians… ignore, biko!

  • King Carlos

    Thank God my northern brethren no dey do survey but they sabi vote. Come FeBuhari 14, Nigerians will vote enmasse fir Buhari/Osinbajo.

  • Gennie


    Nigerians are lucky to have a President who is undoubtedly a transformer. His open-door
    policy and his good works are not in doubt. He appointed young and resourceful
    people to transform the Agricultural, Transportation and Education sector.
    Today, agriculture is taking its place as a major alternative to oil in our

    We cannot quantify the achievement in the transport sector with the reformation
    currently ongoing. A world-class railway is being built across the country, his
    achievements in stamping out Ebola from Nigeria is truly unprecedented.
    N220billion Loans are now available at cheap rates for SMEs. Every sector of
    the economy has been touched by his transformation agenda. Jonathan is working!

    We have a choice to make.

    Let’s make the right one

    • segun

      And President Jonathan and Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke stole our $20 billion from NNPC and sit on it? Right?

  • Elis Davia

    It’s obvious that President GEJ will win this presidential election. He has the majority of Nigerians behind him.

    • Tunsj

      Speak for yourself. So you like what is going on at present.

    • Al

      Definately GEJ wil win but let prove that on February 14 please

    • Don B

      so, why is he afraid of holding the election then?

      • Elis Davia

        What makes you think that he afraid of the election?

      • Elis Davia

        What makes you think that he is afraid of election?

  • Bayo Ola

    This survey is flawed. Due to space constraints I will only cite a few problems with it. First, African are not wired like Europeans or other sophisticated voters across the world where surveys outcome can accurately predict the outcome of an election. For example, there is no evidence to suggest Nigeria has sophisticated voters who would vote for the future of their children or their old age pensions, against parochial ethnic or religious identities. Contrast this with United States, where it seemed the majority of undecided Caucasians voters who might have ordinary voted for Republican, voted for Obama in the Presidential election because of his economic recovery strategies. Thus Obama won the two Presidential elections convincingly against two Caucasian men. This same group of voters voted for their Republican Senators and House of Rep members in the mid-term election. This implies these voters can handle complex issues, unlike African voters who are often emotionally swayed in their voting pattern by religion or ethnic identity over their future or the future of their children. This is not to imply some core Southern states voters in the US will not vote based on parochial race factor, too. But the number of such voters is negligible. Suffice to state that a racist might vote for Obama in the presidential election because of Obama’s economic recovery strategies, yet vote Republican Tea Party in the midterm election. This seems to have worked for them as America economic is bouncing back while the Republican is controlling both Senate and House of Reps. This is a dynamic that only happens in a sophisticated system, not in a third world country. In addition, your survey samples could not have captured the trend of vote buying of African voters, in parrticular, Nigeria voters, on Election Day. Thus, someone might have answered yes I will vote APC in your survey
    sample, yet ended up voting for PDP in the election, if PDP provides him or her with “stomach infrastructures” on election day; vice versa for PDP inclined voters that could be potentially swayed by the APC. Furthermore, your survey sample
    did not envisage technological challenges of conducting survey sampling thru telephone or any other medium of telecommunication, in third world countries like Nigeria. This is what I meant: how would you have sampled a potential PDP or APC voters whose cell phone battery is dead because there is no power/electricity to charge the phone? It is common for power to fail in in a whole city; and not every potential voters/research subject has generators to
    charge their phones. Besides, it is unlikely that you are able to sample almajiri voters in the north or Okada riders’ voters in the south? This group of voters are bulk of potential voters on Election Day. Therefore, it appears there are dynamics of our society that your poll samplings did not envisage and might not have captured. This oversight renders your research outcome as statistically misleading; and publishing this unreliable flawed poll is insensitive to the common sense of your educated readers. It also diminishes the credibility of your organization as your poll is unreliable. Mind you, voter sampling techniques can only work in a country that has developed its human capital to the extent that majority of her citizens can be assumed to follow a particular civilised pattern of behaviour. This is not the case in Nigeria or
    many Sub Sahara African countries.

    • Bayo Ola

      Ordinarily i would not have responded to your comment, but it is time some of you guys are educated for the sake of our country.I know that our education has totally collapsed, but I hope you are still able to read and comprehend basic English language. If so,, you would have noticed that I did not indicate the research outcome favours either APC or PDP. I indicated it is flawed from academic perspectives. I critiqued it as academician not a partisan politician. This is a public forum so it is wrong to publish any academically misleading research outcome in a public forum. Let the writer of the article engage me and clarify the points I raised. It is my duty as a citizen to challenge him, based on his research publication. As for you, other than a need to educate you, I do not have your time.

    • TrueNja

      @ Bayo Ola – What do you mean “not in a third world country”. Are you from a different planet? You are one of the Black trash kissing Whiteman’s ass in North America or Europe. Tea Party baggers are better than you bastard smearing your race and country.

  • Tunsj

    Kangaroo Poll. The poll that counts is the one on election day.

  • Ebele Factory Child

    Ok. Based on this survey GEJ will win but why is he (GEJ & PDP) are afraid of the election?

    • Chuckwuebuka Alavavite

      The call is closer that last time, for sure. One other thing that frightens the PDP is the election aftermath, as many APC backer seem very bellicose. If you read a few comments under articles you will see that many act (and feel) as though they had already won. It’s the result of all this nonsense about change, they took a taste for it and now have the highest hopes. If GEJ wins they are in for a cold shower, and the whole country will probably be in a eruption of violence worse than in 2011.

  • PDP Mouthpiece

    “The writing is on the wall. The Clueless One is on his way back to his Otueke watershed in conjunction with his trashy sheppopotamus.”

    —-T9ksy (Femi Kayode – Nairaland – 20 January 2015)

  • Eze1

    We might have a run-off….



    1. The French opposition leader Mohalindu Bukohande has sharply criticized French President, Francois Hollande, for being clueless in not foreseeing the terrorist attacks in Paris that led to the massacre of 17 French citizens. The opposition party leader, speaking at a press conference in Paris, asked the French President to resign immediately as he has demonstrated that he is not fit to be a commander in chief.

    2. He also criticized the French military for killing the terrorists saying that they (terrorists) should have been granted amnesty just as was granted to Osamie Ben Ladein by the US government.

    3. Mohalindu Bukohande also threatened the entire French populace, declaring that the streets of will be soaked with b…., should he lose the next February elections. He however also promised to totally eradicate terrorism within 3 months if voted into power.tened

    • blueeyedkitten

      hey bros, wake up. its febuhari 14th o….and your dog don catch cub(lion pikin).

  • JamesAdebayo

    This survey seems to be a bit more pessimistic than the one conducted by the Brookings Institution/Africa Growth Initiative, which rated President Goodluck Jonathan as the favorite to win the February 14 presidential polls. There is still some correlation in figures, but it is of course difficult for a pan-African research network to conduct the same high-quality policy research than one of the best in America. The 14th can not come any quicker and hopefully we will be electing someone else than a former dictator.

  • FadeelahO

    What I find alarming are the 50% of people interrogated that are concerned about intimidation in the current electoral process. Of course, the increase of 34% can be explained by Buhari’s delirious call for violence in 2011. Do not let a party or group of people intimidate you! Vote with your heart and your conscience and if you fear retaliation, seek refuge somewhere safe right after the elections.

    • Concerned

      No the increase occurred between 2012 and when the poll was taken recently.

      Thus between 2011 and 2012 people were less concerned about intimidation than they are now under GEJ ‘s watch!

  • anneedu

    Survey or no survey he’s till the best, GEJ 2019

    • TrueNja

      Stop dreaming, May 28, 2015 last day

  • ucheJ

    Despite all the surveys conducted by several groups and network services reasonable Nigerian will understand that GEJ is not appreciated by over majority of Nigerians Despite all his efforts it’s ovious that APC have bought the media who should be an inpashial empire but have been leading the campain for APC however we the real Nigerians who believes that GEJ have done a lot to place Nigeria where it is now we shall vote him to continue his good works GEJ despite all the challenge he continued to work harder we know where Nigeria was placed before GEJ came into office those who do not see anything good in GEJ are those who are oviouslly blind, GEJ will surely win again he is still the best cadident.

  • Dayo

    There is indeed a huge difference in political ideology. The difference can be rooted down to their whole approach of governing. GEJ has a firm program based on his knowledge of presidency (his achievements, ongoing works and failures) whereas GMB has only outlandish promises, a mix of insincerity and sheer ignorance of what power is. Don’t forget the APC (and previous incarnations) has never been in power in 16 years of democracy – a terrible track record. All they can do is speculate at best.

  • Sone Anya

    I agree that there are deep ideological differences between the parties. The PDP is committed to development, promoting private enterprise and national unity, but the APC is an opportunistic coalition of parties of the left under a right-wing leader, with nothing in common but a desire to remove the President. Even those who disagree with some of what the President has done should recognise that he brings the stability and consistency our country needs.