25 February 2010

Nigeria: 'Public Survey Backs Uwais Report '

The majority of Nigerians still regard the full implementation of the Justice Muhammed Lawal Uwais-led Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) as the best option for credible electoral reform in the country.

This assertion is contained in wave one report of the Public Survey on the Proposed Electoral Reforms in Nigeria prepared by NOI Polls for the Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE) and MacArthur Foundation. The Survey was presented at the Dennise Hotel in Abuja yesterday.

General Secretary of ACE, Emma Ezeazu, said that the result of the survey is one of the four of such surveys at ensuring wide participation of Nigerians in the electoral reform process.

"The opinion poll conducted between February 3 and February 8 involved telephone interviews with 2,122 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians, aged 18 and above, across the six geopolitical zones across the country, with the telephone numbers drawn from a database which had been carefully selected and scientifically built to adequately represent all parts of Nigeria," the report said.

When asked for appropriate selecting mode for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman and commissioners, 85 percent favours the National Judicial Council (NJC) to advertise the positions and select top three candidates, eight percent agrees that the president selects a candidate of his choice, while six percent either don't know or refused to take position.

On the funding of INEC 85 percent said INEC should control how the funds are spent after the budget is approved by the National Assembly, while nine percent favours the president controlling INEC's funding.

When asked why the outcome of the survey tallied with the position of the ACE, officials of the NOI, Toyin Akinyuli and Ogbenevware Bobori, explained that the outcome of the survey is independent of ACE and that statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) software was used for data entry and analysis.

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