By Wale Odunsi
Enough is Enough, EiE, has rated frontline presidential candidates Bola Tinubu, Peter Obi, Atiku Abubakar and Rabiu Kwankwaso.
The civil society organisation earlier commissioned SBM Intelligence to do a nationwide survey of likely voters on salient issues regarding the 2023 polls.
EiE said the assessment was in line with promoting democracy with a free, fair and credible election at its foundation.
The results, released Friday night ahead of voting on February 25, predict the winner will not emerge on the first ballot. Of the 11,534 respondents, 78% were engaged face-to-face and 22% via telephone.
The forecast discovered most citizens are focused on the presidential contest with a 100% response rate; 35% responded to questions about the governorship elections while the interest in state legislature elections was 14%.
The data suggests ex-Anambra governor Obi of the Labour Party, LP, and former Vice President Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will do well in many states.
The candidates are expected to garner enough votes across four of the country’s six geopolitical zones to meet the constitutional requirement of scoring 25% in at least 24 states.
The poll says the support for Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in two of the biggest voting states – Kano and Lagos – could result in him “winning the popular vote, although reaching the 50%+1 bar may be a stretch too far”.
It, however, predicts that the ex-Lagos governor may not reach the finish line in the race to 24 (states), likewise Kwankwaso, formerly Kano governor and Defence Minister.
While not projected to win any state, he may garner “sufficient votes in Kano and a smattering of states in the North-Central and North-West to complicate the political maths for other candidates”.
“We are not confident enough to call the election for any candidate. We maintain our initial assessment from our two previous forecasts – Nigerians will need a second round to decide their next President definitively,” EiE noted.
Most of the ratings released since the start of 2023 indicate Obi is the most popular contender in the presidential race. The organisations include Nextier, Stears, Bloomberg, ANAP Foundation and NOI Polls