By Lexi Elo
Latest snap poll results released by NOIPolls Limited revealed that the larger proportion of Nigerian voters (39 percent) believe the April 11 elections were poorly conducted compared to the March 28th elections. This perception may have been stimulated by the reports of violence, manipulations, allegations of massive rigging and falsification of results which led to cancellations, hence, inconclusive polls in some states (Imo, Abia and Taraba) during the gubernatorial and state house of assembly elections.
Nevertheless, the vast majority of voters reported that the April 11 gubernatorial/state elections were free and fair. This was regardless of gender, age and geo-political zones; though the South-East zone accounted for the highest proportion of voters (22 percent) who claimed the elections were not free and fair. Additionally, a higher proportion of Nigerians (79 percent) who voted in the April 11th elections, rated security as good in their various localities during the elections.
Findings revealed that almost all the respondents (92 percent) who voted in the gubernatorial/state house of assembly election also voted in the presidential/senatorial election; and of this proportion, majority (56 percent) elections reported that the functionality of the card reader was better in the April 11th elections than the March 28th elections; that the functionality of the card reader was much better in the April 11th elections than the March 28th elections.
Similarly, 53 percent of voters considered the punctuality of INEC staff to be better than the March 28th general elections and this also applies to the expertise of INEC staff, as the largest proportion (54 percent) of the respondents reported it to be better than the March 28th elections.
While poll results suggests improvement and rectification of lapses experienced during the March 28th elections; (as suggested by voters in a post presidential election poll conducted by NOI Polls,; where majority of the voters suggested that INEC should improve on the card readers) overall, voters gave a poor rating on the general conduct of the April 11th elections in comparison to the March 28th elections. These are the key findings from the Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly Post Elections poll conducted in the week of April 20th 2015.
About 6, 050 candidates contested the gubernatorial and the state house of assembly elections which held 11th April, 2015 across 29 states in Nigeria, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Out of the 6,050 contestants, 760 candidates contested for the governorship positions while 5,290 candidates contested for the State House of Assembly positions. The Governorship election did not hold in Edo, Anambra, Ondo, Ekiti, Bayelsa, Osun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, according to INEC.
The March 28, 2015 presidential and National Assembly elections were greeted with some challenges such as the late arrival of electoral materials and INEC staff at some polling units, as well as not being able to operate the Smart Card Readers (SCR) by some of the INEC’s ad-hoc staff. The commission showed its readiness to resolve those technical glitches, prevent and reduce all the election risks to the barest minimum with a zero tolerance for electoral offenders.
Against this background, NOIPolls conducted a -gubernatorial and the state house of assembly post-election poll to gauge the satisfaction of voters on the general conduct of the elections, as well as security within their localities during the period. The poll also sought to compare critical attributes of the just concluded gubernatorial and the State House of Assembly elections with the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
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