‘April 11 governorship elections poorly conducted’
FOUR out of every 10 voters, who participated in the April 11 gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections in 19 states believe that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) performed ‘poorly’ in the exercise.
This was the outcome of a survey done by the NOIPolls in the week of April 20, 2015, following the completion of the exercise in 26 of the 29 states.
The survey, according to NOIPolls, involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample; where 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians, aged 18 years and above (representing the six geopolitical zones in the country), were interviewed.
“With a sample of this size, we can say, with 95 per cent confidence, that the results obtained are statistically precise — within a range of plus or minus three per cent,” the researchers said.
Working in technical partnership with the Gallup Organisation (USA), NOIPolls Limited is known for country-specific polling services in West Africa and conducts periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria.
The findings revealed that most Nigerians (39: 29+10 per cent) are of the opinion that the elections were poorly conducted when compared to the March 28 elections.
This is closely followed by respondents (34 per cent), who think that both elections were practically the same in all aspects. On the other hand, 27 (8+19) per cent believe that the April 11 elections were better than the March 28 elections.
About 6, 050 candidates contested the gubernatorial and the state house of assembly elections, which held on April 11, 2015 across 29 states. Out of this number, 760 candidates contested for the governorship positions, while 5,290 candidates vied for the State House of Assembly positions. The governorship election did not hold in Edo, Anambra, Ondo, Ekiti, Bayelsa, Osun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, according to INEC.
The March 28, 2015 presidential and National Assembly elections were greeted with some challenges, ranging from late arrival of electoral materials and INEC staff at some polling units, to malfunctioning of the Smart Card Readers (SCR) in some polling units.
Against this background, NOIPolls conducted a post-election poll to gauge the satisfaction of voters on the general conduct of the elections, as well as security within their localities during the period. The poll also sought to compare critical attributes of the gubernatorial and the State House of Assembly polls with the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
It found that the larger proportion of Nigerian voters (39 per cent: 29+10) believe the April 11 elections were poorly conducted, compared to the March 28 (presidential/National Assembly) polls. The researchers, however, observed that this perception may have been stimulated by “reports of violence, manipulations, allegations of massive rigging and falsification of results, which led to cancellations, hence, inconclusive polls in some states in the Southeast region (Imo and Abia states) and Taraba State in Northeast region, during the gubernatorial and state house of assembly elections.”
The vast majority of voters reported that the April 11 gubernatorial/state elections were free and fair. This was regardless of gender, age and geo-political zones; though the Southeast zone accounted for the highest proportion of voters (22 per cent) who claimed the polls were not free and fair. Additionally, a higher proportion of Nigerians (79 per cent) who voted in the April 11 elections, rated security as good in their various localities during the elections.