By Chimezie Godfrey
With days to Anambra 2021 Governorship Election, Hallmark International Consulting Company (HICC), an Abuja based independent research and political risk consultancy firm, has projected that Senator Emmanuel Andy Uba , the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) may score a major win in what it described as a hotly contested election with a margin of error of between 3-4% probability ratings.
According to HICC , the research and opinion poll was commissioned by the US based ‘Power to the People Foundation’- an NGO with interest in the promotion and sustainability of democracy in Africa and around the world.
A statement issued by the Foundation’s Vice President (VP) for Africa and Middle East, Hayes . D. Rodney , which was made available to a cross section of journalists in Abuja on Monday , 25 October in a well-attended Press Conference.
Mr. Rodney said the interest of the Foundation in the Anambra governorship election is non-partisan, but designed to help deepen democracy in Nigeria.
He said that Nigeria’s democracy has come of age and therefor needs to continually evolve strategies to strengthen itself as it bends the curve.
He called on INEC to ensure the election scheduled for November 6, is free, fair and credible.
He urged INEC to adopt instant electronic transmission of results from the pooling units to a secured server as a way forward.
‘To engender the people’s interest and confidence in the political process, the electoral umpire must be transparent and non-partisan.
“One way to restore the people’s interest and trust in the ballot box will be for the umpire to be transparent by also embracing technology in conducting elections and for the security agencies to also ensure lives and properties of the electorates are protected,” he said.
Ms. Austin Mane of the HICC while presenting the result of the poll said it used both the ‘monkey survey’ and ‘political risk index’ to forecast the Anambra election, which culminated in projecting an Uba’s win.
He however, explained that the firm has no partisan interest in the outcome of the statewide survey, adding that the election would be left for the people of the State to decide.
The statement said: “Many people in Nigeria including politics and business leaders, are focusing on Anambra to see how the process of democracy is managed by INEC as a prelude to the 2023 general election.”
He noted that while 18 political parties are registered to participate in the election it only polled six major candidates of six political parties : Accord represented by Dr Godwin Maduka , Prof Charles Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Mr. Valentine Ozigbo of People’s Democratic Party (PDP)P , Dr Obiora Okonkwo of the Zenith Labor Party (ZLP) and Senator Emmanuel Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The poll he said further narrowed the governorship race to a contest between Prof Charles Soludo of APGA and Senator Andy Uba of APC .
The poll surveyed over three thousand people in the three Senatorial zones and across six local government areas. The survey he said was conducted in 60 out of 179 communities in the State.
The statement added that APGA appeared to be facing its toughest political challenge in 16 years and hoped the efforts the firm had made by organizing an independent survey would help deepen and strengthen democracy in the State and enable the different contending parties manage their final push towards the November 6, governorship election.
On the credibility of the test, the statement hinted: “We randomly conducted a statewide opinion poll focusing on the three Senatorial Zones : Anambra North, Anambra South, Anambra Central. The sampled population were asked questions centering on the economy, good governance and security.
Question: “ Soludo and Andy Uba, who would best manage the economy of Anambra State?
While APGA’s Soludo scored 60% per cent, Andy Uba’s APC scored 35 per cent with the remaining 5% shared among other political parties.”
Question: “Between Soludo of APGA and Andy Uba of APC which will best provide good governance and manage the people of the State well?”
WhileThirty-five per 65% thinks APC’s Andy Uba will best provide good governance and Soludo scored 35%.
Between Soludo and Andy Uba who will ensure security of lives and properties as governor?
While Soludo scored 45 % Andy Uba scored 55%.
80% of the voters polled strongly believed the election may be marred by insecurity and general voter apathy . They also believe that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) barring insecurity is now more prepared to conduct credible election following the adoption of instant electronic transmission of results.
They noted that the Anambra Election will afford INEC the opportunity to correct lapses noticed in previous polls conducted in Kogi and Edo States.
The statement averred that this election will be the toughest political battle for APGA and therefore very consequential as the survival of the party will very much depend on the outcome of the November 6 , governorship election.
It however, criticized the PR team of the APC candidate for not doing enough to market the achievements and the personal qualities of their candidate which they said stands tall.
The statement added that though the election will still be too difficult to call at this time, it noted that polling research is ongoing and that the firm will publish its final findings on Anambra governorship election a few days to the poll with more specific rendition on data on polling averages, polling demographics including age spread and of-course the percentage of scores for the main candidates in the election.