A new opinion poll conducted for Bloomberg, the global television group based in New York, has revealed that away from the two most popular parties in Nigeria, a third-party candidate is the top choice to become Africa’s most populous country’s next president.
According to the Bloomberg poll, the clear majority of respondents said they intend to vote for Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, in elections scheduled for February.
The results of the survey conducted for Bloomberg News by Premise Data Corp. were published yesterday, as the official campaign to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari kicked-off. Data from the poll revealed that of the 92% of participants who said they’ve decided how to vote, 72% named Obi as their first choice. Of those who are still unsure, 45% said the 61-year-old is their preferred candidate.
The data company said it surveyed 3,973 Nigerians from Sept. 5-20. Respondents to the app-based poll were selected from quotas developed by age, gender and location across the country’s six geo-political zones. Results were then weighted against the original quotas to ensure national representation.
The candidates of the two parties that have ruled Nigeria since the restoration of democracy in 1999 fared less well. Bola Tinubu, of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) garnered 16% of decided voters and 23% of those yet to make up their minds. Atiku Abubakar, of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), tallied 9% and 17% respectively.
Meanwhile, according to the poll, three-quarters of respondents said that their country is heading in the “wrong direction”. A combined 88% listed the economy and jobs, corruption, and security — three pillars of the campaign that brought Buhari to power in 2015 — as the most important issues facing their communities.