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Presidential Race: New Survey Gives Jonathan 17% Lead over Buhari

President Goodluck Jonathan (PDP – right) and Muhammadu Buhari (APC – left)

An election survey by an independent body projected President Goodluck Jonathan to lead the presidential election coming in three days time on the 28th of March by 17% against his main rival, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) the All Progressive Congress candidate. This was revealed by a few highlights of the survey done by Chike Uchime of  Forward Magazine  a research and publishing company since 1995 and Daniel Dickson-Okezie of Zevland Ventures Limited, also a leading research and security consultancy firm.

Using 24,000 sample sizes across 33 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to decide through an opinion survey, who will win the presidential election, the outcome of the research exercise was based on three critical factors.

The first is the respondents’ views on the achievements or performance of the president from 2011 to date and to see how this can affect his chances in the coming election. The second factor dwelt on the correlation between the outcome of the 2011 presidential election and the likely outcome of the 2015 presidential election, while the third factor was a detailed study of the various dynamics that have taken place since 2011 and the likely impact on the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.

 According to the survey, when asked which of the two main political parties they preferred, 65 per cent of the respondents opted for PDP, while 31 per cent favoured the APC, one per cent went for other parties, while the remaining two per cent went for none of the parties.

When the respondents were asked how they would rate Jonathan’s performance in ten critical areas namely: security, agriculture, power, education, transportation, aviation, press freedom, fight against corruption, human rights and job creation, women empowerment, they allegedly claimed to be impressed on the average.

When the respondents were asked if they would vote for Jonathan based on their responses to the previous questions, 62.2 per cent answered in the affirmative, and 29.7 percent in the negative, while 4.1 percent were undecided.

On the question whether Buhari is considered more capable in addressing the critical issues in the areas listed, 30.7 per cent answered in the affirmative, while 65 per cent answered in the negative. Another 4.3 per cent of the respondents were undecided. From the foregoing, it was becoming visible the likely direction of their votes.

The survey report highlighted the dynamics that have taken place since the 2011 election and the likely impact on the outcome of this year’s presidential election.

According to the report, “Issues addressed here include: (i)The effect of intra-party conflicts; (ii) The effect of mass decampment/cross-carpeting; (iii) The effect of endorsements by ethno-religious groups, socio-cultural groups, paramount rulers and others; and (iv)  inter-religious/ethnic conflicts since 2011.

Each of these issues will either have a positive or negative impact on the candidates. For example, the mass defection of some PDP governors and party stalwarts to the APC may affect the PDP negatively in some states. However, this likely set-back may be cancelled out by some high-profile defection to PDP such as that of Governor Mimiko of Ondo State and those of former Governors Peter Obi, Attahiru Bafarawa, Ibrahim Shekarau among others.

Also, the effect of the conflict between the Fulani cattle rearers and indigenous farmers mainly in the North Central states and Taraba State in North-east may likely cost Buhari, who is a Fulani, some important votes in the areas concerned. Equally, the increase in bloody clashes between the Hausa Fulani and the people of Southern Kaduna might likely tilt a win in favour of Jonathan.

The volume of endorsements by traditional rulers and ethnic nationality groups among others in the South-east, South-south and South-west has enhanced President Jonathan’s chances.

Another critical factor examined which may work in favour of the president is the recent and aggressive deployment of the social media network which now ensures a wider reach and delivery of its programmes to the people. Hitherto, the APC was in control and more effective in the use of the social media.

In conclusion, based on our findings as enumerated above, President  Jonathan, the presidential candidate of the PDP stands an excellent chance of winning the 2015 presidential election by at least a 17 per cent margin over his closest rival,” the report stated.

The report, in its footnote, stated: It should be noted that the report did away with the dubious format of allocating states to the president based on some illusory expectations. The report is the outcome of extensive field research with real people.

Source: Thisday Newspaper

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