March 29, 2023
Obi has emerged as the most popular candidate in six polls including the two surveys conducted by Premise for Bloomberg. Photographer: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

Obi Remains Number 1 Pick

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Bloomberg commissioned poll reveals that the Nigerian Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi remains the number one choice for voters

A Bloomberg poll released Friday, has revealed that 66% of decided voters in Nigeria will cast their votes for Peter Obi the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate.

Two-thirds of respondents said they intend to vote for Obi, a third-party candidate, in elections scheduled for later this month. The poll was conducted 15 days before the vote to choose President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor.

93% of participants that participated in the poll conducted by Premise Data Corporation, 66% of respondents choose Obi to succeed Buhari. In an earlier poll conducted by Bloomberg before the presidential campaigns, the Labour presidential candidate had scored 72% back in September.

Obi had managed to build a force not seen since the pre-independence days with the two established parties the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) wondering if there will be an electoral upset with Bola Ahmed Tinubu the APC presidential candidate favoured to win among the corrupt class.

In order to sow doubts that Obi cannot win because he is a Christian from the restive south east, they started an information warfare campaign. They say he has no physical structure on the ground across the 36 states and have slammed all previous polls that puts Obi in first place as “fake news.”

An election poster for Peter Obi in the Onipanu district of Lagos, Nigeria, earlier in Feb. .Photographer: Benson Ibeabuchi/Bloomberg

Despite the propaganda, other polls have picked Obi as the winner, a poll released this week by Lagos-based media and data company Stears predicted that Obi will win in the event of a high turnout, but lose to Tinubu if the voters do not turn up on election day, coupled with rigging and vote buying.

His “Obidient” movement very loud on social media, and now more vocal at rallies and marches hope that the widespread disillusionment with the economy and security will be the fuel that powers him to victory.

The 1999 Constitution stipulates to be President a candidate has to secure 25% of total votes 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 ruling APC says that means Obi cannot win in the North West and South West because as a Christian Igbo he will not appeal to the Muslim majorities in the North west and the South west where 43% of voters reside.

“Peter Obi cannot win the election,” Nasir el-Rufai, the APC governor of Kaduna state in the north west political zone , said in a television interview. “He doesn’t have the number of states.”

“Only a high voter turnout is the only guarantee for an Obi victory.” A political analyst who refused to be named said ahead of a planned rally for Peter Obi on Saturday in Lagos the stronghold of Tinubu.

Akowe reports from Lagos with materials from Bloomberg

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