By Emma Ujah
Nigerians are overwhelmingly in favour of President Goodluck Jonathanâ€™s contesting next yearâ€™s election, according to the result of a survey conducted by the NOI Polls, which was released in Abuja at the weekend.
â€œTo the question â€˜Do you think/agree that there should be a zoning formula for the emergence of Presidential candidates in Nigeria?â€™, more than 6 in 10 (63%) respondents answered â€˜Noâ€™â€, it said.
The polls said most Nigerians considered competence and educational qualification as two most important factors that should decide who becomes Nigeriaâ€™s next president, rather than ethnicity and religion.
It said, â€œrather than zoning, more respondents (38%) in answering the question â€˜What do you consider to be the most important criteria that should be applied in choosing/selecting the Nigerian President?â€™, prefer that â€˜perceived competenceâ€™ be the deciding factor.
â€œAlso considered important by respondents is the level of education of the candidates (22%) and election manifesto/promises (20%). Ethnicity was considered the least significant factor (2% of respondents), while religion polled just 7% amongst the respondentsâ€
The zoning issue is one of several topics treated in the May 2010 Snap Poll, the latest in the monthly survey conducted by NOI to throw light on current issues affecting the lives of Nigerians. Other issues treated include the preferred criteria of Nigerians for choosing a president and the best priorities of the new government going forward.
On areas of priority to the present administration, respondents identified anti-corruption, power and electoral reform as the key issues which President Jonathan must tackle in order to make necessary difference to be considered in 2011.
In response to the question â€˜What policy area do you think the president should focus on in the remaining months of his tenure?â€™ a majority of the respondents (45%) cited their key concern as power.Â 20% of Nigerians believe that the president should concentrate on jobs/employment, 12% listed electoral reform as priority while infrastructural development was mentioned by 9% of the respondents.
On survey methodology, the Chief Executive officer of NOI Polls, Mr. Ndubusi Anyanwu said respondents were randomly selected from a database of phone-owning Nigerians aged 15 and above.
He said 1,207 people took part in the telephone interviews from the 27th to 30th of April, 2010.
â€œFor a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is Â±2.82 percentage points. The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting.Â In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion pollsâ€, he explained.