Voting during elections in Nigeria

A recent public opinion poll conducted by NOIPolls Nigeria has revealed that apart from the two most popular political parties in Nigeria – the All Progressive Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP), majority of Nigerians are not aware of most of the other registered political parties in the country. This indicates a low level of awareness creation on the part of the political parties even as respondents showed some level of awareness on about 26 of the 91 registered political parties.
In line with this, the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) came top of the mind for majority of the respondents interviewed with 32 percent awareness rating, followed by Social Democratic Party (SDP) with 17 percent.
Every election year is characterized by different electioneering activities by several participating political parties. The D-Day of the 2019 general elections is less than 24 days and as expected, activities have geared up especially by the political parties carrying out rallies across the country. According to the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, a total of 73 of Nigeria’s 91 political parties are participating in this year’s general elections having candidates in different political positions across the 36 states and FCT.
These parties have submitted details of their candidates to the electoral commission, INEC, before the October 2018 deadline. It is a few weeks to the general elections and anecdotal evidence reveal the worry of Political analysts that the intensity of electioneering by political parties and candidates have been low as compared to the 2015 general elections.
In the light of the above background, NOIPolls conducted a fact finding survey to ascertain the level of awareness of Nigerians concerning the registered political parties participating in the 2019 general elections apart from the two most popular parties – PDP and APC.
Respondents were asked to mention at least 5 of the political parties they are aware of and the poll revealed that APGA (30 percent) topped the list of political parties most Nigerians are aware of. Other parties include Social Democratic Party (17 percent), Labor Party (8 percent) and People’s Redemption Party (7 percent) amongst others.
It is worthy to note that while The All Nigeria Peoples’ Party (ANPP) technically no longer exists, a few Nigerians still mentioned it as a top of the mind party they are aware of.
The survey concluded that it was overwhelmingly surprising that of the 91 registered political parties and 73 participating parties, a vast majority of Nigerians are aware of about 26 of them, adding that this indicates low level of awareness creation amongst political parties apart from PDP and APC.
“Therefore, there is need for these political parties to embark on an awareness creation campaign by organizing town hall meetings, rallies and even appearing on live shows on radio and television across the country. Even after the elections have come and gone, it is still important for these political parties to remain relevant in the polity as this will indirectly increase the electorate’s awareness of their parties respectively,” it stated.

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