A poll put together by ANAP Foundation, a non-government organization founded by former Chairman of Stanbic IBTC, Atedo Peterside, last week favoured the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to win the 2023 presidential election.
This and four other stories we tracked dominated public discourse last week.
1. Prediction of Obi’s victory
On September 15, ANAP in a report revealed that the former Anambra State governor, Peter Obi, would emerge as the country’s next president if the election takes place today.
Peterside, who featured in an Arise TV programme, said Obi garnered 31 percent in the poll to edge the duo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rival, Atiku Abubakar, who polled 13 percent to second place.
The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso, who scored 3 percent in the exercise, was described as a dark horse in the race.
Peterside, however, declared that no candidate is in clear lead in all the regions.
He said: “In every nation and election season, there are always polls and there might be surprises and the interesting thing about this poll is that Peter Obi is in the lead and favourite to win the 2023 elections.
“There is always an outsider in every election and Rabiu Kwankwaso fits the profile with quite a substantial number of percentile. This poll is unique because the election is gearing up to be a very closely-contested three-horse race and no candidate is in the clear lead in all the regions.
“Furthermore, Obi’s votes cut across all demographics and not just the youth and the issues for most of the respondents are security and economy.”
Why it matters
The poll might be a true reflection of the new aura around Obi and Nigerians’ increasing crave for a new order after years of the locust.
However, it is a no brainer that success in an election goes beyond public opinion and acceptability on social media. It is an outcome of general acceptability across the social strata and a solid foundation that comes from years of hardwork and networking built from relationships and trust.
While exit polls are not an uncommon feature in the run up to elections, the credibility of such exercises would vary on the strength of the scientific approaches adopted. It would not surprise if more of such polls are announced to counter earlier narratives, especially in our clime where cash-and-carry politics is the norm.
However, Obi’s emergence has introduced a new dimension to the country’s election process and this can only bode well for our democracy.