Polling, the closest method to understanding voting intention, agree? Nigeria, our reality is very different, with over 300 ethnic groups spread across a land of over 900,000 km², ethnic loyalty is bound to impact voting patterns.
During our nationwide physical (face-to-face) poll, our primordial sentiment was in full swing, however, the ObiDient movement has ignited a storm amongst Gen Z, Millennial and some Gen X, our polls show. In the North-central, especially Plateau, Southern Niger and Nasarawa, support for the Labour Presidential candidate transcended ethnic lines. Overall, about 20% of Yorubas are very willing to crossover Bola Tinubu and Sowore for Obi.
Lagos, Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s undisputed stronghold, affirmed by our polls, presented an anomaly just six months ago, would have been unimaginable. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate, came second behind Peter Obi the Labour Party presidential candidate with 28% and 31% respectively.
Our focus on this article is to point out a disconnect between our respondents’ responses. We asked the respondents if there was anything other candidates could do to change their minds, many of them said no, but the same respondents who said no when asked why they chose their respective candidates said it was based on ‘Capacity and Trust’. When we compared these numbers, there was a clash, i.e., you cannot base your reason for choosing a candidate on ‘Capacity and Trust’ then at the same time say there is nothing the other candidate can do to sway your vote, we found this to be disconnecting.
For example, in the South-west, 48% of LP respondents said they were going the LP’s direction for ‘Capacity and Trust’, but when asked if there was anything the other candidates could do to change their minds, 43% said no. Equally, 73% of LP respondents said their choice of candidate was because they wanted change, but only 17% said yes to if there was anything other candidates could do to change their minds.
Another interesting factor is the higher number of APC South-west respondents saying ethnicity was their main reason, 91% said that Bola Tinubu had their votes because he was of the same ethnicity, this brings us back to the first paragraph, Nigerians are firstly their ethnicities, and secondly Nigerian. Minority groups like the Ekoi, Jukun, Tarok, Idoma or the Ebira people will never set foot in Aso Rock as their numbers are very low. It is paramount that we start integration by discontinuing the principle of ‘state of origin’ whilst imbibing a curriculum that works to unite the nation. Ethnicity is a social construct thus can be flexible with the right policies.
If you have an electorate whose minds cannot be changed no matter what, then we must have failed somewhere. The question is seriously begged here, how can a ruling party that has failed based on every index used to gauge growth, still be this competitive in an upcoming election? In a country where leaders are praised for embezzling state funds and the populace are grateful when these loot are splashed with ostentatious largesse.
Our “is there anything other candidates can do to change your mind” question yielded variable results. Of the top three running parties, except for Labour Party respondents, APC and PDP respondents had almost double the numbers of those saying no. A better Nigeria should be the goal here, if any candidate could without a shadow of doubt, provide irrefutable evidence that they will change Nigeria for the better, one should be able to change their mind.
As we continue to interrogate the data from our polling, we will continue to bring you insights only available at BantuPage, follow us on social media/YouTube and our website as we continue to dissect the layers in our demography, so you can have a clearer picture of the Nigeria we all call home.