The Professor Utomi-led Big Tent Coalition of political parties and civil society organisations for ObiDatti has “debunked the untenable and feeble claim” by the PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, as reported in a national daily on January 17, 2023 titled “Atiku: It’s Too Risky to Hand over Nigeria to Tinubu or Obi.” In the report, “a weak subterfuge to divert attention from the crises riddling the party,” Atiku, “speaking at the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) Presidential Dialogue on the Economy in Lagos described Obi as a greenhorn.”
In a statement by Charles Odibo, the Director of Media and Communications of the Big Tent Coalition for ObiDatti, he stated that “nothing could be further from the truth” because “a vast majority of Nigerians who will decide who becomes Nigeria’s next President come February 25, 2023 have also emphatically stated their preference for the candidature of Peter Obi as results of five polls conducted by independent and credible pollsters between September and December 2022 have clearly shown that Peter Obi, Presidential candidate of Labour Party has consistently been voted for in the surveys as the preferred choice of registered voters in the forthcoming 2023 election. They will not be relentlessly rooting for him if they thought he is a green horn.”
READ FULL STATEMENT BELOW
Our attention has been drawn to a front page story of ThisDay of January 17, 2023, an untenable and feeble claim, titled “Atiku: It’s Too Risky to Hand over Nigeria to Tinubu or Obi,” wherein The former vice president, “speaking at the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) Presidential Dialogue on the Economy in Lagos described Obi as a greenhorn.” Nothing could be further from the truth as it is a weak subterfuge to divert attention from the crises riddling the PDP.
A vast majority of Nigerians who will decide who becomes Nigeria’s next President come February 25, 2023 have also emphatically stated their preference for the candidature of Peter Obi as results of five polls conducted by independent and credible pollsters between September and December 2022 have clearly shown that Peter Obi, Presidential candidate of Labour Party has consistently been voted for in the surveys as the preferred choice of registered voters in the forthcoming 2023 election. They will not be relentlessly rooting for him if they thought he is a green horn.
Based on empirical methodology used in five independent polls by four credible pollster institutions between September and December 2022, namely – ANAP/NOI; Bloomberg; We2gedaNG; and Nextier, Peter Obi, Presidential candidate of the Labour Party is in pole position to win next month’s presidential election at the first ballot with a cumulative average of 41.5%, while Atiku Abubakar of PDP, Bola Tinubu of APC, and Rabiu Kwankwanso of NNPP follow behind in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th positions with 16.74%, 16.3%, and 2.7%, respectively.
A further deep-dive into the survey by the independent polling firms also show a uniform pattern of the poll results all of which conclusively showed that Peter Obi of the Labour Party is in commanding lead in the three geo-political zones of North Central, South-South, and South East respectively, while also maintaining a healthy second place in the South West, slightly below Bola Tinubu of APC.
In the Nextier poll, Peter Obi is leading in North Central with 59.8%; Atiku Abubakar, 18%, Bola Tinubu, 16.4%, and Rabiu Kwankwanso, 0.3%; whilst in the South South Peter Obi leads with 67.3%; Atiku Abubakar, 11.9%; Bola Tinubu, 10.7%, and Rabiu Kwankwanso, 0.3%. In the South East, Peter Obi stretches his commanding lead to 94%; Atiku Abubakar, 2.8%; Bola Tinubu, 0.6%; and Rabiu Kwankwanso, 0.3%. In the South West, Bola Tinubu holds a slim lead with 37.4%, followed closely by Peter Obi with 24%; Atiku Abubakar, 16.5%; and Rabiu Kwankwanso, 2.3%.
The ANAP/NOI polls of September and December 2022 follow a similar pattern with cumulative average of 20% for Peter Obi in North Central, 59% in South East, 46% in South South, and 13.5% in South West. Conversely Bola Tibubu trailed with 12.5% in North Central, 0.5% in the South East, 5.5% in South South, and 20% in South West. Following behind Tinubu is Atiku Abubakar who polled 8.5% in North Central, 1% in South East, 4.5% in South South, and 4% in South West.
We2geda survey results from the regions are also consistent with the other surveys. 53% of respondents from North Central Nigeria prefer Peter Obi for president. Atiku Abubakar came a distant second with 24% of the responses. Bola Ahmed Tinubu secured 19% of the respondents while Rabiu Kwankwaso got 2%. In the North East, Atiku Abubakar got 41% of the respondents’ votes from this region, Peter Obi followed closely with 34%, while Bola Ahmed Tinubu secured 30% of the respondents. 70% of respondents from the South South region prefer Peter Obi, with Atiku Abubakar coming a distant second with 16%. Bola Ahmed Tinubu was third with 10%. A review of all the respondents from South East shows that Peter Obi is a clear favourite. 82% of respondents from the South East prefer Peter Obi as President. Atiku Abubakar came in distant second at 8%, with Bola Ahmed Tinubu at third with 6%.
It may further interest Vice President Atiku Abubakar to know that in the above five surveys conducted by the four independent organisations, ANAP/NOI result was polled from 1000 respondents who are registered voters all over the country cutting across all demographics (gender, religion, educational backgrounds, age brackets). According to ANAP Foundation, it further “conducted similar polls with a 2,000 and 3,000 respondents sample size, the difference in the results was not significant.” Its respondents also cut across age groups who indicated their positions on voting. “It is worthy of note that 73% of those aged 18-25, 82% of those aged 26-35, 85% of those aged 36-45, 86% of those aged 46-60 and 82% of those aged 61+ responded that they would definitely vote in the coming elections.”
For its Study Population, Sample Size and Sampling Technique, We2Geda stated that it “randomly surveyed a total of 17,053 registered voters in 36 states and the FCT. This was done entirely through fully randomised direct phone calls in local languages, to achieve real representation of registered voters across Nigeria and not just people on the internet.”
We2Geda further explained that “respondents came from across local governments and were stratified proportionally by key demographics, e.g. rural vs urban, gender, and age. The proportion of Nigerians polled from each state was equal to the state’s contribution to the national voters’ register, as published by INEC. For instance, as Abia contributes 2.3% of the national voters register, Abia also made up 2.3% of respondents in the randomised poll. The same process applied in every state, and polls within each state were 100% randomized.” In its Survey Instrument, it also explained that “the team used a structured survey questionnaire comprising 8 questions. Data Collection & Quality Assurance Interviews were conducted at the We2Geda contact centre by a 30-person multilingual team of agents speaking local languages including – Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Pidgin and English.”
On its part, Nextier conducted a face-to-face poll of registered voters in rural communities in 12 states in Nigeria. Rural communities in the survey, according to Nextier, are in “local governments without tertiary educational institutions.” The Nextier survey team conducted the polls in two states per geo-political zone. The target states included one PDP and one APC state in each geo-political region and the survey excluded the home states of the leading presidential and vice-presidential candidates. The states are – North Central: Nasarawa (APC), Benue (PDP); North East: Gombe (APC), Bauchi (PDP); North West: Kebbi (APC), Sokoto (PDP); South South: Cross River (APC), Edo (PDP); South East: Imo (APC), Abia (PDP); South West: Ogun (APC), Oyo (PDP). According to Nextier it surveyed “a Sample of 2,000, generated a margin of error of 2.2 percent at a 95 percent confidence interval; sample was representative of age and gender demographics in the states; and all survey respondents are registered to vote in the 2023 election.”
The Bloomberg News survey was conducted for it by Premise Data Corporation based in San Francisco, USA, which surveyed 3,973 Nigerians from September 5 to September 20, 2022. According to Bloomberg, “respondents to the app-based poll were selected from quotas developed by age, gender and location across the country’s six geopolitical zones. Results were then weighted against the original quotas to ensure national representation. About 44% of Nigerians own smartphones, according to the Alliance for Affordable Internet.”
As further proof that Nigerians do not consider Obi a green horn, in the Bloomberg survey, it revealed that “more than 65% named Obi as the candidate best able to improve the economy, tackle corruption and reduce insecurity,” well above Tinubu and Atiku who ranked second and third.
As can be observed from the detailed methodology of the above surveys and the issues that are germane to the surveyed registered voters, it can then be easily understood that the polls that conclusively put Peter Obi of Labour Party as the most preferred candidate are results of empirically verifiable surveys that nationally reflect the views of voters and will inevitably stand the test of time as the nation heads to the polls on February 25, 2023.
Peter Obi’s unmatched accomplishments are indelible. As Governor of Anambra State for eight years, some of his remarkable achievements included exemplary commitments to reforms and development; building relationships between Anambra state and other countries such as USA, Britain, Russia, European Union, Belgium, Israel, and others; and attracted big Fortune 500 companies like SAB Miller, Glaxo Smithkline, Neimeth Pharmaceuticals, etc, to Anambra state. Under him Anambra state was rated the least indebted state in Nigeria by the Debt Management Office (DMO); Anambra was adjudged by the Federal Ministry of Works as the state with the best network of roads in the country having asphalted over 800 kilometres of roads; and he re-opened long-closed schools and returned Missionary schools to the original owners with a grant of N6 billion for their rehabilitation, distributing over 30,000 computers, internet access, Microsoft academies to over 500 schools.
Most remarkably, under the governance of Peter Obi, Anambra state students for the first time achieved first place nationwide in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 WASSCE and NECO examinations; he provided 700 buses to secondary schools in the state and provided boreholes to over 300 schools. He also built class room blocks in all the 177 communities in the state. He ensured the payment of over N35 billion in outstanding pensions and gratuities in the state since 1999. Before he became Governor, no single health institution was accredited in the state, but under his administration, 10 schools of Nursing, Midwifery and Medical Technology, as well as two hospitals were accredited.
Peter Obi’s greatest legacy in office was his financial prudence. He funded development projects without borrowing money from financial institutions nor raising bonds, and he handed over to his successor the sum of N75 billion in the form of cash, local, and foreign investments.
Mr. Peter Obi is also the first Governor in Anambra state to serve for two terms since democratic rule in 1979, and can therefore definitely not be described as a green horn by anyone.
Going into the election we are confident that Peter Obi who has built up an enthusiastic base over the past six months as widely indicated in the surveys has, through an organic “Obidient” support base, rapidly scaled up our organizational infrastructure to capitalize on the campaign’s momentum that will inevitably lead to victory on February 25, 2023.
As the race to the general elections gets underway and Nigerians contend with soaring inflation, a plunging currency, pervasive insecurity, unexplainable lingering fuel scarcity, crude oil sales that have also slumped to all-time lows, while the APC-led administration’s debt service bill continue to exceed the revenue the country is able to earn, majority of Nigerians as indicated in the surveys look up to Peter Obi as the only candidate who can surmount the challenges.
Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.