Nigeria’s presidential election holds on Saturday, February 16 to decide who Nigerians want to lead them for another four-year tenure.
Asides from activities of the various political parties, among which was the struggle to throw up representatives for the several elective positions available, the race for the 2019 elections officially kicked off on November 18, 2018 when the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) blew the whistle for the commencement of campaigns for the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The various parties and candidates, therefore, went to town to convince the electorate to cast votes in their favour.
According to INEC records, a list which was signed by its Secretary, Rose Oriaran-Anthony, containing the names of political parties, their presidential candidates and running mates shows that a total of 73 political parties presented candidates for the presidential elections, meaning, about 73 persons are running to become the next Nigerian president.
Despite the large number of contestants, Nigerians are amazed to realize that there are just two major front runners in the race, either of which is expected to carry the day, at the end of the polls.
The two major contestants in this case are incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the former Vice President Abubakar Atiku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In efforts to gauge the mood of Nigerian voters, and foretell the possible outcome of the presidential election, Ripples Nigeria embarked on an online survey to get a sample opinion of who voters are likely to choose as their new president.
The poll titled – Ripples Nigeria Poll – 2019: Who would you vote? – published on www.ripplesnigeria.com ran for several weeks, and was distributed across various social media platforms, while it was also shared by hundreds of thousands of Nigerians, among their social media contacts.
In all, the poll reached about 909,463 people and was shared by 2,448 persons, even as it attracted over 29,000 comments on Facebook alone.
A total of 18,989 people cast their votes in the survey, with President Buhari receiving a total of 10,360 votes representing 54.6 per cent, while Atiku got 7,815 votes representing 41.2 per cent.
Other contestants, together, attracted 814 votes representing 4.3 percent.
However, comments by Nigerians on social media, especially on Facebook threw up a different scenario about the way Nigerians feel concerning the two main figures in the contest.
From 29,292 comments collated, 16,198 were in favour of Atiku, while Buhari had 12,963 comments in his favour.
Those in favour of other contestants who spoke in favour of neither Atiku or Buhari dropped 131 comments.
This, in itself, is a reflection of the reality associated with the Nigerian electorate, where there are active participants in the electoral process, as opposed to commentators who do not vote on Election Day.
While Buhari took the lead in the actual number of votes cast, Atiku got the highest number of support from commentators, but come Saturday, the actual picture will be revealed.
Recall that a related analysis titled ‘Ripples Nigeria 2019 Election Forecast: Predicting the winner‘ announced a slim victory for Buhari In the coming election.
Below are some of the comments passed by Nigerians;
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