Williams and Associates, the United States-based polling firm hired by Goodluck Jonathan administration ahead of the 2015 presidential election but predicted victory for Muhammadu Buhari has predicted victory for Atiku Abubakar in the forthcoming presidential polls.
The company in its analysis of Nigerian presidential election said Atiku will win with less than a majority of the votes cast with 45 per cent. Buhari, according to the polls, will take 33 per cent of the votes.
The polling sample produced Kingsley Moghalu, the candidate of Young Peoples Party, YPP, with 9 per cent of the votes, Omoyele Sowore of African Action Congress, AAC, with 8 per cent of the votes.
The same company, which when it was hired by the Jonathan administration, had predicted victory for Buhari with 54 per cent to 46 per cent for Jonathan. Buhari eventually beat Jonathan by 54 to 45 per cent of the total votes cast.
In its analysis working with data collected across Nigeria by operatives of Williams and Associates through interviews, face to face interviews and using mult-stage stratification proportionate to the population sample responders were interviewed on their preferences in English and local dialects as appropriate.
The poll also reported that South-East with 76 per cent had the greatest proportion of Nigerians who believe that things are going in the wrong direction. Only 12 per cent of those in the region believed that things were going in the right direction.
The South-East was followed by the South-South with 70 per cent, the North-East with 65 per cent, North-West with 57 per cent, South-West 48 per cent.
Remarkably, the troubled North-Central with 46 per cent had the least proportion of those who believe that things were wrong.
Two weeks to the election, 64 per cent of the sample responded that President Buhari had not done enough to deserve re-election that was compared to 52 per cent, which in the same time in 2015 that believed that Dr. Jonathan had not done enough to deserve re-election.
It's insult to give Buhari 33% of the votes --Keyamo
Responding, Mr. Festus Keyamo, spokesman of the Buhari campaign said: "This is one of several predictions that various polls have projected. I am sure also that you have said President Buhari will win with a wide margin. We know that even before the primaries.
"It is an insult to give President Buhari 33 per cent of the votes, it does not reflect the reality on the ground."