Poll results point to voter apathy

LAGOS: ABOUT 70 percent of the local adult population is not registered to any political party ahead of the 2015 general poll. This is according to a latest survey by a regional polling organisation.

NOIPolls said its latest survey established the majority (69 percent) of the Nigerians surveyed are not registered to any political party in the country due to general apathy towards politics, political parties and their activities or due to perceptions of a poor enabling environment for participation of individuals, especially females, in political activities amongst other reasons.

In contrast, a considerable proportion (23 percent) of Nigerians are registered members of various political parties with possession of membership cards whereas 8 percent are registered members but do not have membership cards.

According to surveyors, this group might not be categorised as members of political parties as the generally accepted and complete process of joining a political party in Nigeria requires the filling of a party registration form, the provision of supporting documents and the receipt of a membership card as confirmation.

Further analysis revealed that more male (32 percent) than female (13 percent) respondents possessed a political party membership card.

Also membership of Nigerians in political parties somewhat increased with age as respondents aged 61 years and above accounted for the highest proportion (54 percent) of respondents who own a political party membership card with the least seen among respondents aged 18-21 years.

A view of political party membership revealed an equal proportion of membership for the All Progressives Congress (APC 47 percent) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP (47 percent) with both accounting for the largest share of respondents who are registered members of political parties.

The high membership of these parties among other registered parties may be driven by higher awareness of Nigerians on these parties (PDP 87 percent, APC 82 percent) than other registered parties as established by the poll, although a considerable proportion of Nigerians also showed awareness for the All Progress Grand Alliance (APGA 25 percent).

With 26 registered political parties, Nigeria has a multi-party system with sometimes two or three stronger parties that are electorally successful. The opinion poll was conducted last week involving telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample.

A total of 1 000 randomly-selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed.

“With a sample of this size, we can say with 95 percent confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise – within a range of plus or minus 3 percent,” NOIPolls stated.