- A survey has shown that there is a mixed level of reactions towards the declaration of June 12 as the new Democracy Day
- The survey conducted by NOIPolls indicated that at least 56% of Nigerians commended President Buhari’s decision while 44% said they are not in support of the declaration
- The poll also showed that Northeast supported the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day more than Southwest
A new public opinion poll by NOIPolls has highlighted mixed reactions trailing President Buhari’s recent declaration of June 12 as Nigeria’s new Democracy Day.
The latest poll of 1,000 respondents nationwide revealed that 56% of Nigerians say they are in support of the president’s declaration; while 44% say they are not in support of the declaration.
This, Legit.ng gathers, came on the heels of the finding that almost 8 out of 10 respondents (79%) interviewed said they were aware of the recent declaration by President Buhari to commemorate June 12 as Nigeria’s new Democracy Day.
Highlighting a number of socio-demographic differences, data from the poll showed that while the Northeast (75%), Southwest (69%) and Northwest (60%) geopolitical zones constituted the zones with the highest level of support for the president’s declaration; the Southeast (70%) and South-south (61%) regions constituted the bulk of respondents that are not in support of the declaration.
Similarly, while respondents between the ages of 18 and 60 years (average of 56%) were more in support of the declaration; senior citizens above 60 years (53%) did not seem particularly in support.
Observing the mixed reactions, the poll further probed respondents to better appreciate the reasons behind the mixed level of support towards the declaration, and the responses throw more light on the issue.
On the part of 56% of respondents in support of the declaration, half of them were of the opinion that Late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 election, deserves the honour (50%).
This was followed by 20% who affirmed their support for the declaration because they believe the June 12, 1993 election was the freest and fairest election Nigeria has ever had, since independence in 1960.
In addition, 16% were of the opinion that President Buhari’s declaration was done in response to the yearnings and request of Nigerians; and 14% perceived the declaration as a progressive decision taken by the administration of President Buhari.
On the other hand, amongst 44% of respondents who are not in support of the June 12 declaration by President Buhari, the majority (40%) were of the opinion that the declaration was a mere political game targeted at gaining support for 2019 elections.
This was followed by 35% of such respondents who thought that Nigerians are already used to having May 29 as Democracy Day and there was no need for a new date.
In addition, 15% stated that President Buhari’s government should focus on more important issues facing the country, such as insecurity, poor infrastructure and the harsh impact of the economy on Nigerians.
Finally, 10% of respondents stated that the president did not follow due process in declaring June 12 as the new Democracy Day in Nigeria. They argued that he should have sent the decision to the National Assembly for their ratification.
In summary, the latest poll clearly shows that at least 56% of Nigerians applaud and commend the decision by President Muhammadu Buhari to recognise the significance of June 12, 1993, and honour the memory of Late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the election.
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Earlier, Legit.ng reported that a fact check by ICIR proved that the claim by Alfa Belgore, the former chief justice of Nigeria between 2006 and 2007, that it is illegal for President Buhari to confer a national honour to a deceased person is not only false but misleading.
Reacting to President Buhari’s conferment of the GCFR honour on the late Chief Abiola, Belgore said:“It is not done. It (the award) is for people living. The only thing they could do is to name a place after him, but national honours award, no.”
The fact check, however, stated that there is no specific provision in the National Honours Act stating that national honours cannot be conferred to a deceased person and confirmed that the Act gives the president the liberty to use his discretion to confer the honours on anyone who could not appear in person.
Democracy Day: When Should We Celebrate It? | Legit.ng TV