A pre-presidential election opinion survey by global business and economic news platform, Bloomberg News, has projected Labour Party’s (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi as the leading runner ahead of Nigeria’s February 25 presidential election.
In the poll conducted by Premise Data Corp for Bloomberg News, Obi was the preferred choice of the respondents ahead of Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The poll result released yesterday showed that the LP candidate garnered 66 per cent of the 93 per cent of respondents’ votes.
The candidates of the two parties that have ruled Nigeria since the restoration of democracy in 1999 finished in a distant second and third. Tinubu obtained 18 percent of decided voters and the PDP’s Atiku Abubakar tallied 10 percent.
Obi scored a slightly higher 72% among decided respondents in an earlier Premise poll that was released by Bloomberg in September last year as the official election campaign kicked off.
“San Francisco-based Premise polled 2,384 Nigerians from January 26 to February 4 via a smartphone app. Submissions were selected from quotas developed by age, gender, and location across the country’s six geopolitical zones, the company said. Results were then weighted against the original quotas to ensure national representation,” Bloomberg News said.
Bloomberg reports further on the latest poll result: “While Obi’s campaign has generated a momentum that the two established forces in Nigerian politics were not expecting, the ruling All Progressives Congress and main opposition Peoples Democratic Party insist that he cannot triumph on February 25. They say his appeal is too thinly spread across the country’s states and have derided polling that has almost universally put the candidate of the much smaller Labour Party in first place.
“Still, Obi has emerged as the most popular candidate in six polls including the two surveys conducted by Premise for Bloomberg. Another poll released this week by Lagos-based media and data company Stears predicted that Obi will win in the event of high turnout, but lose to Bola Tinubu of the APC if participation is weak.
“Dismissed by his opponents as a ‘social media candidate,’ Obi’s rise has been fueled by disenchantment with the status quo. His campaign has attracted an enthusiastic following known as ‘Obidients’ – initially online but increasingly at rallies and marches – even if the man they wish to help to Nigeria’s biggest ever electoral upset hardly has an anti-establishment background.
“A former governor of the southeastern Anambra State and ex-chairman of Lagos-listed Fidelity Bank Plc, Obi is running on the ticket of the Labour Party, whose presidential candidate garnered only 0.02% of votes in the last election four years ago. The APC and PDP dominate both chambers of parliament, and 35 of the country’s 36 governors come from their ranks.
“While widespread frustration with worsening economic hardship and growing insecurity has propelled Obi’s campaign further than many initially felt possible, his party lacks the nationwide organisational capabilities of the APC and PDP — which are experienced at mobilising voters across the West African country of approximately 200 million people. Vote buying is also common in Nigerian elections which provides an advantage to better resourced parties.
“The constitution also dictates that a candidate acquiring the most votes in the election can only win the presidency in the first round if they secure over 25% in more than two-thirds of the states. If no one crosses that threshold, Nigeria will have its first runoff between whoever polled best overall and the remaining contender who scored majorities in the higher number of states.
“The APC insists the rules make a Labour Party victory impossible as its Christian candidate will not be able to accumulate a quarter of the votes in states across the predominantly Muslim north or Tinubu’s southwestern stronghold that includes the commercial hub of Lagos.
“Peter Obi cannot win the election,” Nasir el-Rufai, the APC governor of the northern Kaduna State, said in a television interview this month. “He doesn’t have the number of states.” Out of Nigeria’s six so-called geopolitical zones, 43% of the country’s 93.5 million registered voters are located in the northwest and southwest.”
There have been a number of polls conducted for the leading Nigerian presidential candidates.
The LP candidate has won the majority of the polls but the opposition parties are quick to dismiss their outcome.
In September 2022, an NOI poll placed Obi as the leading candidate with 21 per cent of the votes.
Tinubu and Atiku tied in second place with 13 per cent of votes each, while Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) came fourth with three per cent.
The result of the poll was dismissed by APC, NNPP, and the PDP.
BREAKING NEWS: PDP’s Diri Wins Bayelsa Gov Election
The incumbent Governor of Bayelsa State and governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Douye Diri, has been declared the winner of the State governorship election held last Saturday.
The Returning Officer, Prof Faruq Kuta, who is also the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University Of Technology, Minna, announced Diri winner of the poll at the collation centre of the election on Monday.
Diri polled 175,196 to defeat his closest rival, Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress, who garnered 110,108 votes while the Labour Party polled 905 votes.
Plateau: Protesters Storm S’ Court Over Sack Of Four PDP Members From NASS
Over 1000 protesters, on Monday, besieged the Supreme Court to register their displeasure over the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which sacked four members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Plateau State, from the National Assembly, based on a pre-election dispute.
The placard and banner-wielding groups, under the aegis of Coalition for Justice in Africa, CJA, submitted a protest letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola.
According to the protesters, the appellate court, by its judgement, thwarted the wish of electorates in Plateau state, when it declared candidates that lost the National Assembly elections that held on February 25, as winners of the legislative seats.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after the protest letter was submitted to the CJN, the National President of the CJA, Dr. Daniel Okwa, maintained that the judgement of the appellate court was capable of causing a breakdown of law and order in the state.
He said the group was at the apex court to seek the intervention of the CJN, alleging that the verdicts that removed all the PDP federal lawmakers were influenced by some chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
The protest letter, which was obtained by Vanguard, read in part: “The Coalition for Truth and Justice believes that the judgment of the Appeal Court in Abuja is a case of injustice, else, how could one explain a situation where lawmakers of the All Progressive Congress (APC) would boast and predict the outcome of the Court of Appeal judgment even before the pronouncement.
“This is unacceptable and indicates that the justice regime in Nigeria has been thrown to the dogs. What happened in Plateau State is an aberration of immeasurable proportion. There is a distinction between a pre-election matter and a post-election matter.
“The Supreme Court has established this fact on several occasions. It is now a wonder why the Appeal Court would act otherwise and in a despicable manner that tends to truncate our nascent democracy.
“The Coalition for Truth and Justice entirely condemns the actions of the justices of the Appeal Court that sat in Abuja. They displayed insensitivity to the electoral choices of the people. This is a worrisome trend that the Chief Justice of Nigeria must address.
“This is on the heels that the Judiciary, the world over, is regarded as the last hope of the commoner. This presupposes that it is the only place the commoner can get justice. The function of the Judiciary is not to twist the truth or fabricate facts but to interpret the law. The consequence of the interpretation of the law is justice.
“However, what played out in Plateau state negates the Judiciary’s position as the common’s last hope. The Judiciary is for sale to the highest bidder in Nigeria, if such positions could be taken without recourse to the implication of such on the psychological state of the people.
“The Coalition for Truth and Justice is using this protest to drive the point that justice in Nigeria should not be reserved for a section of the country or any political party. What happened in Plateau should not be allowed to stand or repeat itself. The implication of such is that the reputation of the judicial arm of government would be eroded.”
It will be recalled that the appellate court had on November 7, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel led by Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, okayed the nullification of the election of a Senator and three members of the House of Representatives in the state that emerged on the platform of the PDP.
The panel based its decision on failure of the PDP to fully comply with a court that was made in 2022, which it said directed the party to conduct congress in the 17 Local Government Areas in the state.
It, therefore, held that though the lawmakers won their respective seats during the National Assembly election that held on February 25, all the scores that were credited them, amounted to wasted votes.
It ordered that candidates that got the second majority lawful votes at the election, should be sworn in as winners of the legislative seats.
Canada’s Abuja, Lagos Visa Centres Open – High Commission
The Canadian High Commission in Nigeria has said its Abuja and Lagos visa application centres remain open for the processing of immigration, refugee and citizenship applications.
The Canadian High Commission had on Tuesday announced the suspension of operations in its Abuja office following a fire incident at its generator house, which claimed two lives on Monday.
Nigerians had expressed fear that the operations suspension would hamper visa application processes.
But in a statement posted on its X handle on Thursday, the Canadian High Commission clarified that its Abuja and Lagos visa application centres remain open and operational.
In the statement by its public affairs staff, Demilade Kosemani, the commission said, “As we continue to mourn the passing of our dear colleague from the High Commission of Canada in Abuja, please note the following information below:
“Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada clients: processing of applications continues. Regardless of the suspension of operations at the High Commission of Canada in Abuja, the Visa Application Centres in Abuja and Lagos remain open.”
Meanwhile, a travel agency, , TMT Travels and Tours Limited, has sympathised with the Canadian High Commission over the Monday tragic fire incident.
In a statement on Thursday the agency’s Chief Executive Officer, Collins Onukwubiri, said, “We at TMT Travels and Tours Limited shares in the grief and sense of loss of the Canadian embassy in Abuja. The partial burning of the Canadian embassy in Abuja and the death of two workers there was most unfortunate.
“Canada, as a major player in the Nigeria’s travel and tours business, is an integral player in Nigeria’s economy. We know how devastating this unfortunate incident is to them but we want to say that we stand with them in this time and always. We specially condole with the families of the two persons who died in the process.”