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Obi most popular choice among Nigerians, Kwakol Poll reveals

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Peter Gregory Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, is the most popular candidate among the major contenders seeking to become the nation’s next president, according to a new poll conducted by the Kwakol Research Institute.

The poll, which took a different approach to collecting valuable data and providing reasonable conclusions, arrived at the conclusion that the Labour Party presidential candidate was the ideal choice for more than 50 percent of respondents, including women, the unemployed, civil servants, private sector participants, and students, especially those in tertiary institutions.

Unlike most polls, Kwakol gathered most of its responses from rural dwellers. “It is important to note that, unlike the majority of the polls in Nigeria, we polled more registered voters in rural Nigeria than registered voters in semi-urban Nigeria and urban Nigeria, respectively,” it stated.

The research agency also used several parameters to arrive at its conclusion—for example, the issue of income classification, educational background, work status, and sex were factors used in arriving at its conclusion.

In summation, 52.80 percent of respondents said that they would vote for the Labour Party, 18.9 percent said they would vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), 15.6 percent said they would vote for the All Progressives Congress, and 10.4 percent said that they would vote for the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

It must be pertinent to note that respondents in the exercise cut across the six geopolitical zones and income backgrounds. The spread of the poll had 45 percent of respondents residing in rural areas, while semi-urban areas narrowly edged out urban respondents by a point, with them taking up 28 percent and 27 percent, respectively.

A further breakdown showed that the agency agreed with popular census figures of the numerical strength of the Northwest and Southwest geopolitical zones, with the spread resulting in 25.27 percent and 19 percent, respectively, while the Southsouth and Southeast ended up with 13.44 percent and 12.13 percent, respectively.

Obi gained more acceptance with young people who fell within the age bracket of 18 to 69, with 56 percent of those within the age range of 35 to 49 years and with valid Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) saying that they would vote for him at the February 25 election.

SEE ALSO:  PDP caucus backs Damagum to continue as Acting National Chair

Across the occupational background divide, over 70 percent of respondents working in the private sector said that they would vote for Obi and his Labour Party. This performance was closely followed by civil servants, whose 66.9 percent of respondents said that they would vote for him as president in next week’s Saturday election. 53.4 percent of the students said they would vote for him. This was closely followed by 52.3 percent of unemployed respondents who said they would vote for him.

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Another interesting revelation from the Kwakol poll revealed that over 67 percent of respondents earning above N200,000 said that they would vote for Obi. This result was closely followed by the 64.5 percent of respondents who earned between N101,000 and N200,000 and said that they would vote for Obi.

The poll also revealed that over 53 percent of female respondents said that they would vote for Obi, a figure that is more than the APC, PDP, and NNPP figures combined. Despite a slight gender gap, 52.61 percent of male respondents said they would vote for the Obi.

Another parameter used in the analysis revealed that an overwhelming 64.41 percent of respondents with at most a tertiary education said that they would vote for Obi and his Labour Party in next week’s presidential election. The least surprising finding was that 30 percent of uneducated respondents said they would vote for Obi and the Labour Party in next week’s presidential election.

Kwakol provided two scenarios that might be exceptions to the poll results. First, it was agreed that though the sample size of 1,000 respondents wasn’t representative enough, Obi wasn’t totally certain of victory in the next Saturday’s presidential election. Why you may ask?

Elections in Nigeria have always been “characterized by electoral violence, terror violence, sectionalist violence, and voter intimidation,” it stated.

For the first scenario, it was predicted that in the event of violent attacks in the North Central geopolitical zone, voter turnout would decline significantly. “A situation that would have an impact on the number of votes available for the Labour Party and the NNPP,” it said. This leaves the two major political parties to slug it out.

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In the north-east geopolitical region, “if an outburst of violence by non-state actors occurs in the northwest, this will significantly reduce voter turnout, and the only parties to benefit from traditional voting patterns will be the PDP and the APC, whose strongholds are in the geopolitical zone.”

For the Northwest, in the event of a breakout of violence, “all the frontline political parties will be adversely affected, but the APC will benefit from the 2019 voting patterns despite a significantly lower voter turnout.”

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For the South East geopolitical zone, it feared that concerns from the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) militant wing—the Eastern Security Network (ESN)—could reduce the numerical chance of Obi, while in the South-South zone, Kwakol said that “we do not expect to see an outburst of violence from the militants in the South-South geopolitical zone, but we suspect that hired political thuggery could be a recurring theme during the election, particularly in River and Delta States. We think that this will likely be due to specific interests for the minimum 25 election of votes cast in the two respective states. We also suspect that pro-LP strongholds in the region might be targeted in order to heighten voter anxiety, therefore dampening voter turnout. The LP, more specifically, will rue this probable outcome.

For the South West region, it was argued that if political thuggery erupted, the APC would benefit, reducing the Labour Party’s chances significantly.

In essence, it predicted that “if either of the six scenarios below of electoral violence plays out in any of the geopolitical zones, the probable political party to benefit is the APC, most likely due to a repeat of the 2019 voting patterns that were favorable to the party in hindsight.”

“In the eventuality that the presidency has to be decided by a run-off presidential election round between the two parties with the greatest number of votes cast in their respective favor, and if these two parties happen to be the APC and LP, we predict a very close race with the APC as the eventual winner.

“The APC’s incumbency, reliable voting patterns in its strongholds in the northwest and southwest, and the further polarization of the electorate along time-honored ethnoreligious lines in the midst of reeling voter fatigue will be of advantage to the APC,” it stated.

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However, in the event of a likely run-off between the PDP and the Labour Party, Kwakol predicts that while the PDP will be adversely affected by the expected low voter turnout in the Northwest and while the Southwest will back the LP instead of the PDP, it will not be enough for the LP. The PDP will benefit from Nigeria’s time-honored voting patterns along ethnoreligious and sectionalist lines, where the proportion of registered voters across the north will be of utmost importance.

In the event of a likely APC-PDP runoff, “the PDP will benefit from a section of the electorate that is disgruntled with the APC’s same-religion candidate pairing, especially in the south-south and southeast.”

“The PDP will also benefit from a section of the LP strongholds in the south-south and the southeast. The APC will maintain its strongholds in the northwest and the southwest albeit with a reeling voter fatigue. This leaves the key battleground geopolitical zones in the context of this run-off pairing to be the northeast and the north-central zones. Thus, we predict that the PDP will just about edge out the APC in this very tight race,” it predicted.

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It created another permutation, stating that in the event of a last-minute alliance between “the APC and the NNPP with the NNPP dropping out of the race, we predict that the APC will be able to gain more support from the NNPP stronghold in the north and northeast, and thus, it is likely that the APC will win the election in the first round.”

In its final permutation, Kwakol argued that “if there is a last-minute alliance between the PDP and the NNPP with the NNPP dropping out of the race, we predict that the PDP will be able to gain more support from the NNPP strongholds in the Northwest. However, we cannot conclude if this is enough for the PDP to win the presidential election in the first round.”

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Politics

Ex-Imo gov, Emeka Ihedioha resigns from PDP

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Ex-Imo gov, Emeka Ihedioha resigns from PDP
Emeka Ihedioha

A former governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, has resigned his membership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

In his resignation letter addressed to the PDP chairman in Mbutu Ward, Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area of the state, Ihedioha cited a misalignment between his personal beliefs and the current trajectory of the main opposition party.

The former governor expressed his dedication to the advancement of democracy and good governance in the country despite his decision to step away from PDP.

According to Ihedioha, having been a member of the party since its inception in 1998, he has contributed immensely to the growth and evolution of the party.

The former governor, however, lamented recent developments within the PDP, stating that it has deviated from its core principles.

He voiced concerns over the party’s inability to enact internal reforms, uphold its own regulations, and effectively oppose the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

“Regrettably, in recent times, the party has taken on a path that is at variance with my personal beliefs. Despite my attempt to offer counsel, the party is, sadly, no longer able to carry out internal reforms, enforce its own rules or offer credible opposition to the ruling All Progressives Congress.’

“It is in the light of the foregoing, that I am compelled to offer my resignation from the People’s Democratic Party effective immediately.

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“While the decision was difficult to take, I, however, believe that it is the right one. Despite this resignation, I will always be available to offer my services towards the deepening of democracy and good governance in Nigeria”, the letter added.

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Protest breaks out in Ondo over APC Gov Primary

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Protest breaks out in Ondo over APC Gov Primary
• Protesters demand cancellation of APC ward primaries in Ondo State on Sunday, April 21, 2024

Some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akure, the Ondo State capital, took to the streets on Sunday to protest what they termed irregularities and biased conduct of the ward primaries across the state on Saturday.

The ward primaries meant to produce the governorship candidate of the party for the November 16, 2024 governorship election in the state has been marred with non-availability of election materials.

The protesters called for the cancellation of the ward primaries.

The protesters stormed the APC state secretariat in Akure to display their displeasure to the alleged irregularities in the conduct of the ward primaries across the 203 wards of the state.

Most of them are supporters of one of the aspirants, Olushola Oke, and they carried different placards calling on the national secretariat to remove the chairman of the primary election committee and Kogi State Governor, Usman Ododo.

They described the process as a daylight robbery and urged the national secretariat of the APC not to allow the state to be embroiled in crisis.

One of the protesters claimed no ward primaries were held, insisting that the guidelines given by the national secretariat of the party were not followed as the committee did not distribute materials to any wards.

The party members warned of likely consequences if an unpopular candidate is imposed on them as it could affect the chances of the party in the governorship election.

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Ododo had on Saturday announced that polls would be conducted in all 13 wards of Okitipupa Local Government Area of the state by noon on Sunday.

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“Having received reports of the primary election from the 203 wards in the 18 local governments of Ondo State, the primary election committee has decided that election will be conducted in all the 13 Wards of Okitipupa local government with total validated registered members of 9,515, because of validated reports that the exercise did not hold in the local government due to late arrival of materials and personnel as a result of logistics challenges.

“Election in Okitipupa local government shall be conducted 12 noon on Sunday 21st April 2024. The final collation of the results will be done thereafter,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, two aspirants and agents of two other contestants raised concerns about the conduct of the primary.

They alleged that based on the conduct of the exercise, plans were made to favour certain aspirants.

Olugbenga Edema, who is one of the 16 aspirants in the race for the APC ticket, decried delays in the distribution of materials and called on the party to investigate the process.

Rotimi Williams, the agent of Oke, took a similar position.

Shola Ajisafe, the agent of Adewale Akinterinwa, backed the narrative by Edema and Willams.

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“My people have been calling me. No material has been distributed to them,” Ajisafe who is from Ondo North said, accusing Governor Ododo of working in favour of a candidate. (Channelstv)

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PDP caucus backs Damagum to continue as Acting National Chair

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PDP caucus backs Damagum to continue as Acting National Chair
• PDP National Chairman Umar Damagum
The current acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Umar Damagum, will continue in that capacity until another National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting that will hold after the one slated for today, Thursday April 18, 2024.

This formed part of the resolution of the PDP caucus meeting on Wednesday night.

PDP spokesman, Debo Ologunagba, said the caucus resolved that all reconciliation committees of the party be reconstituted to resolve grievances affecting the unity of the party.

Asked what the caucus discussed about issues regarding the party’s chairmanship position, he said it is an issue that the NEC of the party will discuss but said the organ resolved that Damagum continue as chairman till the next NEC after today’s.

The meeting was attended by the former Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike; and the 2023 presidential flag bearer of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar.

Damagum is suspected to be an ally of Wike, who is the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The caucus also directed that the party should revisit the Rivers State Caretaker Committee List, and find a political solution to the crisis in the state.

The caucus meeting held less than 24 hours to theNEC meeting of the party, which has been scheduled for today (April 18, 2024) to discus issues regarding the leadership of the party and also to ractify decisions by various organs of the party.

The PDP is facing a leadership crisis, with members urging the resignation of the Damagum-led NEC. Meetings like the NEC and the party’s Board of Trustees have been arranged to address these issues.

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Meanwhile, Senator Iyorcha Ayu has withdrew his appeal, which sought to challenge his removal as the party’s national chairman. His move is also believed to be connected with the party’s upcoming National Executive Meeting.

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Ayu was suspended by the executive committee of the PDP in Igyorov ward in the Gboko Local Government Area of Kogi State in 2023 over alleged anti-party activities but he had approached the court to challenge his removal.

However, a Federal High Court in June last year affirmed the decision of the party to sack Senator Ayu, a judgement that led to an appeal, which he has now withdrawn.

FULL TEXT: Communique Issued At End Of PDP NEC Meeting

Communique Issued at the end of the 98th Meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Today, Thursday, April 18, 2024.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of our great Party, at its 98th meeting today, Thursday, April 18, 2024, thoroughly assessed the State of affairs of the Nation and the Party and resolved as follows:

1. NEC commends all the Organs of the Party for their collective resilience, steadfastness and commitment towards the unity, stability and sustenance of our great Party despite dauting challenges.

2. NEC also commends members of the PDP, with particular reference to the youths and women for their courage in resisting the antics of the divisive and anti-people All Progressives Congress (APC), especially, its desperation to emasculate the opposition and foist a one-Party State on our nation.

3. NEC expresses concern over the ill-implemented policies of the insensitive APC administration, leading to worsening insecurity, harrowing economic hardship, soaring unemployment rate, high cost of food and other necessities of life with pervading misery and despondency across the country.

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4. NEC expresses serious apprehensions over the spate of acts of terrorism and violence including the escalated cases of mindless killings, mass abduction of innocent Nigerians and marauding of communities in various parts of the country.

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5. NEC condemns the insensitivity, nonchalance, incompetence and arrogance in failure of the APC administration which continues to conduct itself in a manner that shows that it has no iota of interest or commitment towards the wellbeing of Nigerians.

6. NEC also condemns the creeping totalitarianism and tendencies towards a One-Party State which is inimical to the peace, stability and corporate existence of our nation as well as the development of Democracy and good governance in the country.

7. NEC, after due consideration demands that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu should urgently convene a special National Security Council meeting to proffer a holistic solution and measures to curb the disturbing insecurity with its attendant negative consequences on our national life.

8. NEC also demands that President Tinubu should immediately rejig his Economic Team to bring in persons of proven integrity and competence without bias and vested interest to assist in repositioning the economy.

9. NEC further demands that the Federal Government should review all policies and programmes which are stifling the economy with suffocating effect on the lives of citizens; including the increase in price of fuel without cushioning measures, hike in electricity tariff, increased taxation and implementation of adverse fiscal policies.

10. NEC charges all Organs, leaders, critical stakeholders and indeed all members of the PDP to close ranks, put aside every personal or group interests and work together in the overall effort to reposition and return the PDP to power at the center in the interest of the Nigerian people.

11. Consequently, NEC received and approved the Timetable for Party Congresses across the country.

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12. NEC also approved the Reconstitution of the Party Disciplinary and Reconciliation Committees to further ensure the stability of the Party.

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13. Similarly, NEC approved the extension of the life of the Party Constitution Amendment Committee to allow it to receive new amendment proposals for inclusion in its deliberation and final report for consideration by NEC.

14. NEC commended the efforts of the National Working Committee in its effort towards rebranding the Party including the new look PDP Logo which is widely accepted by Party members and Nigerians in general.

15. NEC charges all Party members to continue to work together for the success of the PDP for the benefit of Nigerians and sustenance of Democracy in our country.

Thank you for listening.

Hon. Debo Ologunagba
National Publicity Secretary

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