President Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party PDP has closed the wide gap between him and his arch-rival in the March 28 presidential election, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of All Progressive Congress APC in an opinion poll conducted by an independent organisation.
Results of the opinion poll requesting Nigerians to indicate who they would vote for in the forthcoming presidential election, revealed that Buhari leads by 51 per cent of the total votes cast while President Jonathan scored 49 percent of the votes.
The poll lasted for only 24 hours, and out of a total of 28o, 962 persons that voted, Buhari got 140,860 votes, representing 51 percent of the total votes cast, while President Jonathan got 140,102 votes, representing 49 percent of the total votes.
President Jonathan of the ruling party will take on Gen Buhari of APC in the March 28 presidential election to determine who will be the Nigeria’s next president in an election many observers believe will be Nigeria’s keenest presidential election ever.
In the opinion poll, 49 per cent of the respondents chose to vote for President Jonathan while 51 per cent said they would vote for Gen Buhari in the offline opinion poll where respondents were asked who they would vote for through a toll-free call.
It would be recalled that previous opinion polls, particularly those conducted by SharaReporters and former President Jonathan’s aide on Social Media, Reno Omokri had indicated that the APC flag bearer was in a wide lead over the incumbent president, Goodluck Jonathan.
For instance, out of a total of 15,435 persons that voted in the SaharaReporters’ Opinion Poll, Buhari got 12,246 votes, representing 79 percent of the total votes cast, while President Jonathan got 3,189 votes, representing 21 percent of the total votes.
However, ostensibly to counter the poll conducted by SaharaReporters, Jonathan’s Special Assistant on Social Media, Reno Omokri, also set up a similar poll asking almost the same question posed by the news website.
His poll, “Build Up Nigeria” posed the question “If the Nigerian Presidential election were held today, who would you vote for between President Goodluck Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari?”. However, the result of the poll showed that Buhari led by a wide margin. While Buhari had 6,411 votes, representing 69.87 percent of the total tally, President Goodluck Jonathan had 2,455 votes, representing 26.75 percent of the votes cast.
However, analysts attribute the improvement in Jonathan’s popularity rating in the minds of the people in the latest opinion poll to the successes already recorded by the Nigerian military in the renewed war against Boko Haram in the Northeast region of the country.
Political watchers say the security situation in the country has tremendously improved in the last two weeks in spite of pockets of suicide attacks in Kano and Bauchi as the Nigerian armed forces in conjunction with troops from the neighbouring nations of Chad, Cameroon and Niger have continued to mount a clamp down on the insurgents in the Northeast region of Nigeria.
All the territories captured by Boko Haram have been regained by the Nigerian military in the latest onslaught.