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Survey reveals only 26% of Nigerians now trust in Buhari

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A new survey conducted by the Africa Polling Institute (API) has revealed that the trust Nigerians had in the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has dropped to an all-time low of 26 per cent.

At the inception of Buhari’s regime in 2015, about 75% of Nigerians had put their trust in him to deal with the myriads of issues including economic downturn, insecurity, unemployment, high cost of living and corruption that had bedeviled the country following the 16 years of misrule by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Nigerians had put their faiths in Buhari to wield the magic wand to reposition the country and take it out of the woods and voted for him massively.

However, six years after the massive vote of confidence in Buhari, the ratings and trust have plummeted to an abysmal 26%, with the survey also showing that Nigerians now have more trust in “religious leaders (55%) and traditional leaders (44%), compared to the Buhari government (26%), the judicial system (26%), the National Assembly (22%) and the Nigeria Police which went down to (22%).”

The API, in its report on Thursday, also revealed growing citizens’ distrust towards the state and fellow citizens, as well as a proclivity for ethnicity over nationalism.

The survey, tagged ‘Nigeria Social Cohesion Index Report’, was computed as 44.2 per cent, which is below the average 50 percentage point, indicating that Nigeria is not as socially cohesive as it ought to be.

According to the API, the survey was undertaken to develop a social cohesion index for Nigeria and measure citizens’ perception on the state of social cohesion.

The survey report, which was presented at an event attended by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, in Abuja, noted that the “country had become more divided today than it was four years ago”, adding that it was based on the observation by 65 per cent of citizens interviewed, which represented a 20-point increase from 2019’s score of 45 per cent.

Read also: ‘Address the killing of Nigerians, stinking corruption under your watch,’ Ortom tells Buhari

API, with the support of Ford Foundation, conducted the nationwide Citizens Perception Survey to measure social cohesion in Nigeria, between the months of April and May 2021.

According to the API, the survey was built upon 10 key indicators to measure social cohesion in Nigeria in terms of identity; trust; social justice; participation and patriotism; natural resources governance; gender equity; impunity; corruption, self-worth and future expectation.

The institute led by Prof Bell Ihua, said all interviews were conducted by face-to-face using the Stratified Random Sampling technique, with citizens aged 18 years and above, interviewed in five major languages including English, Pidgin, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, while geographic quotas were assigned to ensure that all senatorial district and states were proportionately represented in the sample.

“The trend analysis reveals a decline in the proportion of Nigerians that feel truly proud of the nation. In 2019, 55 per cent of citizens said they felt truly proud of Nigeria; however, by 2021 this proportion has declined to 42 per cent, representing a 13 per cent decline.

“Similarly, the proportion of Nigerians that feel truly disappointed in the country has increased – from 30 per cent in 2019 to 49 per cent in 2021, representing a 19 per cent increase.

“Overall, the results of the Nigeria Social Cohesion Survey 2021 and the Nigeria Social Cohesion Index, computed with a score of 44.2 per cent, suggest that Nigeria currently falls slightly below the average threshold of a socially cohesive country,” the report stated.

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