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AD11: Nigeria heads for closest election on record

Nengak Daniel, Raphael Mbaegbu and Peter M. Lewis 27 Jan 2015 Nigeria
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Key findings
  • Nigerians are generally dissatisfied with current economic conditions and the government’s performance on key issues. Three-quarters (74%)
  • Nigerians hold mixed views of the INEC. Almost two-thirds (64%) believe the INEC is “ready to hold credible free and fair elections,” but overall trust in the institution is limited, with only 32% saying they trust the INEC “somewhat” or “a lot.” Only 23% believe that elections are “often” or “always” determined by a fair count of votes.
  • Nigerians are ready for the election, with 78% expressing an intention to vote. But the outcome remains too close to call, especially given the fluidity of the current election environment: The PDP and the APC are neck and neck, with each party favoured by 42% of likely voters.

Nigerians will go to the polls on 14 February to elect their president and national legislators to four-year terms, followed two weeks later by elections for many governors and state assemblies. The presidential election will be Nigeria’s fifth since the return to democracy in 1999. In an Afrobarometer survey conducted two months before the elections, we find a highly competitive political field, with much uncertainty about the prospects for credible and peaceful polls and about the outcome of the elections. While most Nigerians look forward to voting and believe that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is prepared, many also express uncertainty about the likely integrity of the vote count and concerns about their personal security during highly competitive elections.

Daniel Nengak

Nengak Daniel is program manager for the CLEEN Foundation in Lagos, Nigeria.<br />

Raphael Mbaegbu

Raphael is a project manager for NOI Polls

Peter Lewis

Peter is a board member