Daily Trust (Abuja)

17 July 2014

Nigeria: 2015 - Nigerians Prefer Soldiers' Deployment for Elections - Survey

Despite widespread condemnation, especially by the opposition, of the Military deployment for elections including the recent Ekiti Governorship election, Nigerians still prefer the involvement of the soldiers to monitor elections ahead of Police and other security agencies, a survey shows.

This was one of the major highlights of the twin report titled "Opinion Poll Survey on 2015 General Elections and Electoral Reform/Constitutional Process in Nigeria", prepared by the Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE-Nigeria) and MacArthur Foundation, which was publicly presented yesterday in Abuja by Toyin Akinloye of the Fusion Consulting and was conducted May this year.

Akinloye told reporters that "A scientific stratified approach was adopted to select Primary Sampling Units (PSUs) representing all parts of Nigeria and reflecting the rural and urban split based on the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey. A total of randomly selected 252 PSUs were sampled with an average of eight households per PSU and 2016 respondents interviewed for the survey."

She said that the data collected using face-to-face interviews between April 23 and May 12, 2014 shows that 61 percent of the respondents back the Military, 12 percent each back the Police and SSS apart and six percent backing the Civil Defence when asked for which of the security agencies they had the most confidence in its commitment to supporting free and fair elections.

While 40 percent respondents expressed 'Satisfied' on level of satisfaction with Democracy in Nigeria, 22 percent posited they were 'dissatisfied' and 11 percent saying they were 'very dissatisfied'.

Though 39 percent said they expect the coming 2015 elections to be free and fair, 32 percent said they expect a free and fair elections but with minor problems, 13 percent saying they expect a free and fair elections but with major problems and eight percent saying they are not expecting a free and fair elections.

On the preparedness of INEC for the 2015 elections, 66 percent said INEC was prepared and 10 percent posited that the electoral umpire was not prepared for the elections; but 78 percent wanting the establishment of Electoral Crimes Commission (ECC) life the EFCC and 12 percent saying no.

Dayo Olaide of the MacArthur Foundation who said they were supporting the ACE-Nigeria initiative due to the importance of elections to the standardisation of democracy in Nigeria, however regretted that rather than being a veritable tool of enhanced good governance, elections have become tools of conflict hence the need for Nigerians to ensure the success of the 2015 elections.

Chairman and General Secretary of ACE-Nigeria, Mallam Yau Zakari and Comrade Emma Ezeazu respectively were unanimous in saying though Nigeria elections have been characterised with fraud and irregularities, every action that would change the situation must be accorded priority.

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