Concerns that President Buhari’s popularity rating is taking a dip may just have been proved right with the outcome of a survey recently conducted by Ripples Nigeria.
In the last one and a half years since he assumed power as President on May 29, 2015, Buhari’s approval rating had witnessed different levels of bashing by a distraught population eager to reap from the promise of change sold to them by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Many have also suggested that he would not be having their support if he does decide to contest the next presidential elections in 2019, especially if things remained the way they are.
The debate of whether or not to support Buhari in 2019 was actually kicked off by his wife, Aisha who told the BBC in an interview that the way things are going, she would not go out to campaign for Buhari if he decides to throw his hat in the ring for 2019.
Her reason was that she was dissatisfied with the composition of his cabinet as presently constituted.
The first lady lamented that a good number of people appointed into positions were people who never supported, nor campaigned for Buhari during the build-up to the elections that brought him to power.
She had also explained, however, that he had yet to tell her what his intentions for the next elections are, whether he would contest or not.
Soon after, a prominent politician from the northern part of the country, where Buhari hails from, and who had been with him during his days in the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) Alhaji Buba Galadima, also voiced such sentiments.
According to Galadima, Buhari would be abandoned by the Nigerian electorate if he decides to seek re-election in 2019.
The presidency through a presidential spokesman, Malam Shehu Garba, quickly replied that Galadima was mistaken, and that the masses were solidly behind the president, whom they knew was fighting for them.
No sooner had he said that than another northern politician, this time a Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed said, “This is an unfortunate development and it shows the ineptitude of the government. For a man that has led us into the worst recession ever and has got nothing to show Nigerians since he assumed office to be talking of 2019, shows how shameless the government can be”.
Based on these, Ripples Nigeria went to town to find out the true standing of the President Buhari-led administration among Nigerians.
The findings, carried out via an online survey, and widely spread to ensure feedback from virtually every segment of the Nigerian population, indicated that the popularity rating of President Muhammadu Buahri which had seen him clinch the elections in 2015, has actually dropped.
In the survey question, ‘If Buhari decides to contest in 2019 would you support him?’ 52.3 per cent of respondents answered ‘No’, while 41.5 per cent answered ‘Yes’, as 6.2 per cent were undecided.
By inference, even if the undecided group changes their mind to support Buhari, it will not alter the stats significantly as those who won’t support him would still be in the majority.
This is against the number of Nigerians voters who supported him in 2015 to win the elections.
Buhari in 2015 was able to garner 54 per cent of total votes cast in that election to beat his closest contestant, Goodluck Jonathan who polled 44.96 per cent of the votes cast.
The drop in the popularity rating of Buhari has been attributed to a number of factors, top of which is the nation’s economy which is acknowledged to have hit recession.
Analysts, therefore, suggest that in the event Buhari is nursing a re-election dream, either for himself or his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) then he, and by extension, his party need to sit up, to regain the confidence of the Nigerian electorate.
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