As the 2023 elections draw nearer, Market Trends International (MTI) has conducted an opinion survey on all presidential candidates which placed the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Peter Obi, ahead of other aspirants.
According to a statement from the agency’s executive director, Victor Ebhomenye, the former governor of Anambra State has the highest level of support to become the country’s next president, with 44% of respondents saying they will vote for the LP candidate in the forthcoming presidential election.
The MTI boss claims that this has surprised Nigerians because, as of December 2021, neither the Labour party nor Peter Obi was involved in the country’s presidential race.
He said, “Peter Obi has picked up pace in the race since he declared interest to run with the Labour Party as the party’s presidential candidate at its national convention and presidential primary in Asaba, the capital of Delta State, on Monday, 30th of May after other aspirants like former presidential adviser, Professor Pat Utomi; Faduri Joseph and Olubusola Emmanuel-Tella, stepped down.
“With Mr Obi’s emergence, the party may receive boosts to achieve lasting alliance talks with the New Nigeria Peoples Party- NNPP (this alliance is said to have collapsed at the moment); Zenith Labour Party (ZLP); Allied Peoples Movement (APM); National Rescue Movement (NRM); Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), and African Democratic Congress (ADC), among others before the February 2023 presidential race.
“The proposed alliance has halted the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its main opposition, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), from dominating the upcoming elections.
“The PDP was initially seen as the most popular party to win the 2023 presidential election as of December 2021, with 52% of respondents indicating PDP to win were elections to be held in December 2021. When asked whom they will vote for, 28% of respondents leaned towards voting for the PDP.
“However, findings show that 45% of respondents were undecided and did not know which party they would lean towards voting for as of December 2021,” Mr Ebhomenye disclosed.
He further asserted that “ever since the loss of the party’s presidential ticket in May 2022 and being overlooked as the running mate to the flagbearer, Alh. Atiku Abubakar, the executive Governor of Rivers State, Gov, Wike and four other PDP governors (popularly known as the G5 Governors) have constituted themselves into opposition within the PDP.
“It is believed that these G5 governors (Seyi Makinde, Samuel Ortom, Okezie Ikpeazu, Ifeanyi Ngwuanyi and Nyesom Wike) discretely withdrew their support for Atiku Abubakar and this could be one factor to explain the drastic fall in support for the PDP. This has also contributed to Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Peter Obi gaining more ground in the upcoming presidential election race.
“When asked to advise the incoming president on challenges to tackle immediately after he resumes office, Nigerians advised the incoming president to make Insecurity (46%), Collapsed Economy (20%), and Unemployment (18%) his top priority. Insecurity in Nigeria is a recurring phenomenon that threatens our well-being.
“The southwest is plagued by a surge in cybercrime, armed robbery, kidnapping, domestic crime, extrajudicial killings, herder-farmer conflicts, ritual killings, and banditry. The Southeast is a haven for ritual killings, commercial crime, secessionist agitation, kidnapping, herder-farmer clashes, attacks by unknown gunmen, and banditry.
“The south-south remains threatened by militancy, kidnapping, and environmental agitation. The northeast has been subject to a humanitarian crisis lasting over a decade, caused by the Boko Haram insurgency and the Islamic State in the West Africa Province. Meanwhile, the north-west is enmeshed in illegal mining, ethnoreligious killings, and banditry.”
According to Mr Ebhomenye of the MTI, the Nigerian state is typically on the verge of disintegrating and lacks a clearly defined plan to deal with the effects of the external headwinds.
“Inflation levels are at a record high, largely caused by cost-push factors. The unemployment rate has remained above 33%, and government debts are at the highest levels the country has ever witnessed, but more worrisome is that we are using almost 100% of our revenue in debt servicing.
“According to the IMF, Nigeria is projected to record Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 3.2% in 2022, and 3.0% in 2023, both representing 0.2% points lower than the 3.4% and 3.2% respectively projected in the July World Economic Outlook.
“Insecurity (46%), Collapsed Economy (20%) and Unemployment (18%) should be the Top Priority for the incoming president,” the MTI stated.