Election 2011: 81% are projected to vote next year, says survey

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At least, eighty-one percent of eligible Nigerians are willing to vote in the forthcoming elections, according to a poll released yesterday.

The poll, ‘Current Pulse of Nation’s Survey’, carried out on topical national issues, sampled 5000 respondents, aged 18 years and above, from across the country.

‘Current Pulse of Nation’s Survey’ is conducted by Research and Marketing Services (RMS), an affiliate of TNS Global, a market research company and Gallup International’s representative in the country.

Adeola Tejumola, the CEO of the company, during a press briefing to announce the statistics, said the polls was centred on the forthcoming general elections because it is the most topical issue as the country celebrates its 50th Independence Day Anniversary.

‘More Nigerians will vote next year’

Mr. Tejumola said the reason for the high figure could probably be attributed to the “one man, one vote campaign”, or INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) administration suddenly improved, or just a reflection of the governance of the day.” “The challenges people raise concern for the most were the epileptic power supply, the increasing crime rate, coupled with the regular kidnapping going on, and corruption continues to rank high on the list,” he said. “For me, the fact that people are beginning to be aware that corruption is an issue, that they acknowledge that it does exist and the need to eradicate corruption in itself, is welcoming news.”

Another problem identified as major by the respondents, were low education quality and poor state of basic facilities.

Only 35 percent of the respondents were, however, confident that the forth coming elections will be free and fair, with half of the respondents expressing concerns about the success of the elections, in spite of the 81 percent willing to vote.

Aggrey Maposa, the company’s chief operating officer (COO), said the difference shows that people think the election process has improved, “though not yet perfect.” “Compared with the previous challenges that INEC used to have, people have seen improvements in the process of the elections. Even though, they understand that the process is not yet perfect, they are willing to vote and express their opinion,” he said.

‘Poor power is killing businesses’

Mr. Tejumola also said 81 percent of Nigeria’s eligible voters support President Goodluck Jonathan’s candidature in the race, noting that the polls was conducted before the presidential aspirants announced to run for office. “But it’s not just one-sided; if 81 percent are saying that President Jonathan should run, in the same report, 54 percent are saying they are not happy with the crime rate, 24 percent are saying that corruption is killing them, and 67 percent are saying that the epileptic power supply is killing their business,” he added.

The report also states that 63 percent of Nigerians will consider character in voting for a presidential candidate, while 33 percent would consider political affiliation. Thirty-one percent will consider political ideology and 27 percent will put the content of the manifesto ahead of other things. The poll also shows a slight popularity advantage for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), going into the next elections, while Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) had marginal drops in the number of respondents planning to vote for them.

Mr. Tejumola, however, advised presidential aspirants to consider Nigerians’ expectations going into the next elections. “Expectations of Nigerians include generation of employment opportunities, dependable electricity to drive national development, poverty eradication and free qualitative education, amongst others; a serious government would want to concentrate on doing these things for the people,” he said.

Mr. Tejumola also said the research was carried out by the company as “its Corporate Social Responsibility”, and promised that the company will continue to sample public opinion on “topical issues affecting the nation.”

Source: Next