In a massive online poll on Twitter that attracted almost 30,000 votes, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, proved his mettle by besting the incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari and his likely Peoples Democratic Party rivals, Governors Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo and Aminu Tambuwal of Gombe and Sokoto states.
The poll was conducted by Senator Ben Bruce, a member of the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and major supporter of Atiku.
In answer to the question ‘If the 2019 Nigerian Presidential election were to hold today and the candidates are as below, who would you vote for?’, 44% of the respondents said they would vote for the Waziri Adamawa. This compares to 31% for President Buhari, 17% for Dankwambo and only 8% for Tambuwal, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives.
This result is consistent with a number of recent polls, including those done by well known supporters of President Buhari, who had following the third anniversary of the administration on May 29 initiated polls ostensibly to test the popularity of the incumbent President.
On June 6, 2018, the former Vice President in two polls conducted simultaneously by blogger, Japhet Omojuwa defeated Buhari. In the first poll Atiku polled 35% of the votes compared to Buhari’s 32%. In the second poll, Atiku secured 39% of the votes while Buhari earned 34% of the votes.
A week earlier, Atiku had also trounced other aspirants in another poll conducted by pro APC consultant, Mark Essien. Atiku polled 43% compared to Buhari’s 35%.
In yet another poll conducted by @YNaija, Nigeria’s most successful youth blog run by Red Media, who played a key role in Buhari’s media during the 2015 elections, Atiku handed Buhari a crushing defeat of 70% versus 19%. These results have been in synchronicity with recent poll numbers by Nigeria’s premier polling agency, NOI/Gallup Polls.
Opinion polls conducted on social media are tricky in Nigeria because a large number of those that vote there actually do not vote in the main election for various reasons including voting ineligibility. Also, many real voter, especially the ones that live in villages and rural areas are often not on social media.