Imo gov’ship: Opinion poll predicts victory for Hope Uzodinma of APC

Ahead of the November 11 governorship election in Imo state, a scientific opinion poll conducted by a pro-democracy civil society group, Justice and Democracy for Development (JD4D) has projected Governor Hope Uzodimma to emerge victorious. 

The CSO, in a report released Friday, a said random sampling and in-depth interviews conducted across the 27 local government areas of the state showed Gov Uzodimma leading his two closest rivals.

Result of the sampling showed that the governor, who is running for second term on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is the preferred choice of 70 percent of the respondents.

“The APC is trailed by the Labour Party (LP) with 18 percent chances while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came third with 13 percent,” the report stated in part.

“Three percent of the respondents said they were yet to decide on their choice. Two percent said they will not vote while 1 percent of the respondents declined to disclose their choice.

“Chances of the APC are mainly spread among middle-aged and elderly persons across sexes with respondents mostly in urban areas choosing the party over the two closest rivals. Out of the 27 LGAs opinions are higher for APC in 17 LGAs, 6 LGAs in favour of Labour Party while 4 LGAs favour PDP.”

Aside polling higher among eligible voters, the result showed that “majority of respondents (at 70 percent) believes that APC is likely to win the election ahead of Labour Party (24 percent), followed by PDP at 12 percent”. 

“In 17 out of the 27 LGs majority of respondents believed APC will win the election while in 7 and 3 local governments majority of respondents believed Labour and PDP will win, respectively.”

The report indicated that political parties participating in the election are working hard to outdo each other in canvassing support especially to sway the undecided voters. 

“Political parties have contacted people in different ways to get their support. Some of the ways are giving food and drinks for attending a rally (51%), sending a message on social media asking to support a candidate (47%), and door to door visit (41%). Across different ways, APC is observed to be more involved using these strategies to contact people than other parties or candidates.

“For respondents that had engaged in activities to support gubernatorial candidates of their choice, the following activities are the foremost activities engaged in: Encouraged family and friends to support a candidate or party (74%), joined a party (56%) and participated in a rally (47%). APC (26%) followed BY LP (20%) are observed to be the major parties enjoying more encouragement of family and friends to support their candidate or party.”

On the general election atmosphere and preparedness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), report of the survey showed that residents are confident of the preparation of the electoral body. 

“Overall, 50% believed that INEC is prepared for the forthcoming elections. While 28% believed that INEC is very prepared, 22% believed they are somewhat prepared.” 

The report indicated that there is palpable fear of violence among voters which, it says, may drastically voter turnout during the election. 

“64% agreed that possibility of violence or unrest will/may lead them not to go to the polling station to vote in the forth coming gubernatorial election. Close to three-fifths (57%) agreed that the forth coming gubernatorial election will increase the level of violence where they live.”

The report also found that while majority of respondents decry voter inducement, most of them however okayed sharing of food, drinks, soveniers and even money.

“About 72% agreed they would report a case of electoral bribery because it is the right thing to do. However, 70% agreed there is no point in reporting electoral bribery because nothing useful will be done about it. Majority (63%) agreed that Citizens have a duty to pay tax to any government, no matter how the government performs. More than half (51%) disagreed that there is no point in voting because all politicians are corrupt., while majority (72%) agreed that Imo State is divided between ordinary people and the corrupt elites who exploit them.”

Ths report tasked INEC to ensure the conduct of free and fair election that would reflect the wish of the people.