October 5, 2022

Nigerian former Vice President Atiku Abubakar attends the opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) primaries in Abuja, on May 28, 2022. – Former Nigerian vice president Atiku Abubakar on May 28, 2022 won the opposition party PDP’s primary to choose its candidate for the 2023 presidential election, according to ballot results. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)
As search for a running mate to Atiku Abubakar, the standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hots up, a straw poll conducted by Guardians of Leadership and Democracy (GLD), a pro-democracy group with focus on leadership, good governance, sustainable democracy, innovation and human capital development, has put Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa in clear lead over three other top members of the PDP.
Straw poll, also known as straw ballot, is usually an ad hoc poll carried out to determine the slant of opinion on an issue or popularity of an individual or group of persons within a community. In modern political communication and marketing, it has become an effective tool to gauge popularity of issues or suitability of persons for a position.
The group has in the past conducted straw poll (both online and offline) on several national issues and on popularity of categories of Nigerians for certain offices, including whether Nigeria should adopt the parliamentary system of government or continue with the extant Presidential system.
Many respondents to the poll conducted (online and offline) across diverse categories of Nigerians, according to GLD, advised Atiku to pick a running mate with a track record of performance and someone without the baggage of corruption.
A statement issued in Alausa, Lagos, yesterday, by GLD Executive Secretary, Dr. Robert Ebelo, said the emergence of Atiku, Bola Tinubu (APC) and Peter Obi (Labour Party), all of them persons with both private and public sector experience, has presented Nigerians a broader option of choices to make in the 2023 Presidential election.
According to the statement, this contrasts with the norm in the past where the race was always reduced to a two-horse race with one horse being the dominant one, making the contest too easy to call.
Ebelo said four notable PDP governors, namely Okowa, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, were put forward in the poll, which deliberately targeted respondents from the voting public.
The statement said while Okowa polled 44 per cent of total votes, Ugwuanyi polled 28 per cent, while Udom and Makinde polled 17 and 11 per cent respectively.
Criteria considered, according to the statement, include antecedents of candidates in education, healthcare delivery, intra and inter-party harmony skill, infrastructure development, temperament, job and wealth creation vision, zonal suitability, among other human development indices.
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