To obtain individual opinions and promote better understanding of the 2023 presidential elections, Market Trends International (MTI), a market research agency, has conducted an exit survey.
Coming in the aftermath of the declaration of presidential election results and various contentions against the conduct of the exercise, the poll used nationally representative sample of 1, 000 respondents across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
The survey respondents were asked the following questions which include; whether they possessed a Permanent Voter Card (PVC); if they voted in the presidential elections; who they voted for, and if they believed the INEC-announced results truly reflected the votes cast.
Also to obtain a better understanding of the discrepancies between the exit poll results and those released by INEC, participants were asked whether they believed their votes were accurately reflected in the official results.
Based on the above, 58 percent of the survey respondents believed that their votes were reflected in the results announced by INEC, while 42 percent asserted that their votes were not accurately represented.
A closer analysis of participants’ responses revealed that respondents from Lagos State had the highest percentage of those who believed their votes were not accurately reflected, followed by Rivers and Kano states.
In Abuja, Bauchi, and Enugu states respondents felt that the INEC-announced results did not mirror their votes.
On the other hand, data analyses of participants’ responses revealed that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party secured the highest number of votes among poll respondents with 57 percent, while the APC candidate, eventually declared the winner by INEC, received 24 percent of the respondents’ votes.
Atiku Abubakar of the PDP and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the NNPP garnered 11 and 8 percent of the votes, respectively.
The state-wise breakdowns showed that Peter Obi of the Labour Party received the highest number of votes in Enugu with 99 percent, Lagos, 88 percent, Rivers 63 percent, and Abuja 48 percent.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on the other hand, had the highest number of respondents claiming to have voted for the APC in Bauchi and Kano states , 44 percent and 31 percent respectively.
Comparing MTI findings with INEC’s results, the executive director of the research agency Victor Ebhomenye said: “It is important to recall that INEC announced that the Labour Party received 582,000 votes in Lagos state, while the APC received 572,000 votes. However, allegations and controversies arose, particularly from the opposition parties LP and PDP, suggesting that the Labour Party had won Lagos State by a much wider margin than officially declared by INEC.
“In Rivers State, the Obiakpor incident involving altered EC8 result sheets and allegations of rigging, voter and party intimidation raised further concerns.
‘’On the other hand, FCT, Bauchi, and Enugu states reported fewer instances of electoral malpractice during the 2023 presidential elections, thus minimising discrepancies between the results announced by INEC and the perceived votes cast. These findings support the claim that only the Labour Party fulfilled the mandatory 25 percent of votes in the FCT, as required by Section 134 of the 1999 constitution, to declare a candidate as President.
“With the on-going hearings at the election tribunal, it is expected that the truth behind the presidential elections will be revealed. This will enable a synchronisation of the findings from pre-election opinion polls conducted by reputable organisations, the results declared by INEC, and the data presented in this report, bringing closure to all parties involved. The judiciary, known as the last hope of the common man, has a crucial role in uncovering the truth. “The outcome of the on-going Election Tribunal holds great significance for the nation, as it will determine whether the 2023 Nigerian Presidential election can be deemed “free and fair.”