As 2023 general elections draw closer, Nigerians in various parts of the country have mostly settled for Labour presidential candidate Peter Obi as their preferred choice in a physical poll conducted in December 2022, with barely two months to D-day.
The result of polls conducted between the 1st and 4th of December by the media outfit BBantuPage, showed that Labour Party’s Obi was preferred by most of the eligible voters in the Federal Capital Territory, Southeast, South-south and North-central geopolitical zones.
The overall poll revealed that 37% of the polled respondent spread in all the geo-graphical zones preferred Obi. While 15%, 14% and 4% preferred the APC, PDP and NNPP respectively, 17% of the respondents were still undecided, 9% do not intend to vote with 4% unwilling to disclose their preferred candidates.
In the direct physical poll conducted by the media team in the country, Nigerian electorates in the selected States revealed that the preference for their candidates were based on religion, competence and other reasons.
Analysis of the poll results by BantuPage revealed that most respondents representing 19% of the both male and female population within the three selected states of Kano, Katsina and Kaduna preferred NNPP’s Kwankwaso in the Northwest. Though 18%, 15% and 7% had PDP, APC and LP respectively as their second preference, a whopping 32% were still undecided.
The result was however different in Northeast as PDP’s presidential candidate Atiku polled more with 38% respondents choosing him as their preferred candidate while LP, APC and NNPP had 15%, 12% and 2% respectively with 27% eligible voters undecided.
Results from the South-south region, mostly in Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Edo states, LP’s presidential candidate Obi led the way with 66% respondents for voting intent. PDP and APC were both tied at 7% each, while 3 % preferred NNPP and 6% still undecided.
For North Central respondents, 45% intend to vote LP, while 14%, 13% and 3% had a preference for APC, PDP and NNPP respectively with 15% yet undecided.
Southwest respondents preferred the APC candidate with the ruling party amassing 34%, followed by LP and PDP with 23% and 17% respectively. Only 1% of polled respondent intended to vote for the NNPP candidate although 17% were still undecided. While the APC candidate may have won the entire Southwest region, the poll results showed that he actually came in second in Lagos state to LP, polling only 28% while LP had 31%. Further analysis revealed that this LP’s victory in Lagos was influenced by the fact that Lagos is a multi-ethnic city. A drill down on how Yorubas voted in Lagos revealed that Tinubu would have won Lagos with 47% and LP would have been a distant second at only 10%.
The LP also had the highest preference amongst respondents from the Southeast with 72% of voting intentions. The APC and PDP each scored 3% and 2% respectively of voting intent while the NNPP scored zero. Despite voter apathy and security challenges occasioned by the clamour for secession in the South East, there was a very high intent to vote with only 6% yet undecided.
Similarly, result of polls conducted in the Federal Capital Territory gave LP wide edge with 44% while APC, PDP and NNPP got 11%, 10% and 3% respectively. With 11% still undecided.
Areas polled in Federal capital territory were Garki Area 1, Asokoro, Wuse Zone 5, Gudu, Bwari Area Council, Gwagwalada Area Council Zuba, Gwagwalada Area Council Tunga Maje, Gwagwalada Area Council, University of Abuja, Gwagwalada Area Council Giri, Kuje Area Council Kuje Ibi, Kuje Area Council Kuje Market, Kuje Ako, Kuje Area Council Kuje Guduaba, Garki Area 2, Garki Area 10, Garki Area 3, Wuse 2 and Jabi.
Talking about the rationale behind the choice of candidates and voting intentions, the spokesperson for BantuPage in a statement made available Friday, said, “What’s also interesting here is that ethnicity and religion, which are two of Nigeria’s fault lines, had little impact on respondents’ choice of voting intention. Our data showed that of the 59% of our respondents who gave a reason for their voting intentions, only 2% said religion was their motivator, 3% for ethnicity, 1% for party affiliation, 11% for change, 13% for age, and a staggering 70% for capacity and trust.
“Again, we made sure our numbers per area were limited and spread across the cities/states so that our results would be as representative as possible of the demographic area.”
“These polling results from BantuPage poll is the first of three series expected to be conducted before the election to gauge the feelings of Nigerians especially to know if the results of the first poll will be replicated or whether voting intentions have changed or some of the undecided voters had settled for a particular candidate as election gets ever closer.
“Our first monthly poll has just concluded, and we are looking to publish these. One thing that is very different from our numbers is that we broke down our interviews in different categories apart from the usual a yes or no on whom the respondents are likely to vote for.
“We intend to run a once-a-month general polling on the above categories, i.e. December 2022 (just completed polls), January, and February just before the election.
“We selected three states from each geo-political zone for our polls, normally, not more than 10 respondents in each community or local government with the exemption of Lagos and Kano where the population numbers are quite high. Unlike other polls conducted, 95% of our respondents were recorded (all recordings are available), whilst 5% were voice recordings of polled individuals who didn’t wish to be captured on video recording. In our January polls, we will cover the remaining three states in each geopolitical zone that we did not poll during our December polls, whilst we intend to capture the entire country in one fell swoop in our penultimate polling in February.
“Our polls are the most comprehensive and detailed ever carried out in Nigeria. Our results are peer reviewed for rigour and robustness, and our sampling ensured that any chance of inadvertent bias was eliminated,” the poll coordinators added.