A recent survey by Afrobarometer has revealed that 8 out of 10 Nigerians do not trust the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The survey was conducted in collaboration with NOI Polls and CDD Ghana. According to their findings, only 23% of Nigerians trust INEC while 78% others do not trust the electoral body.
This is the lowest since 2013 according to the previous results of Afrobarometer surveys. In 2013, a total of 33% Nigerians had trust in INEC. The level of trust in the electoral body decreased in 2015 when 31% of Nigerians said they had trust in INEC.
The proportion of Nigerians that had trust in INEC rose to 35% in 2017, but fell to 31% in 2020. It considerably fell to 23% in 2023, a few days to the presidential election in the country.
The survey asked the Nigerian respondents a number of other relevant questions one of which was whether Nigerians preferred a two-party system to a multi-party system.
Afrobarometer found out that 69%, or 7 out of 10 Nigerians said that they preferred a multi-party system to a two-party system in the country because such system would give voters many options to choose from.
“Large majorities of survey respondents say that multiple political parties are needed to provide voters a genuine choice and that once elections are over, the losing side should accept defeat and work with the government to help the nation flourish,” Afrobarometer said.
Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan survey research network that provides reliable data on African experiences and evaluations of democracy, governance, and quality of life. Eight survey rounds in up to 39 countries have been completed since 1999. Round 9 surveys (2021/2023) are currently underway. Afrobarometer’s national partners conduct face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice.
The survey also revealed that 7 out of 10 Nigerians wanted a democratic system of government as the preferred way of choosing leaders while 27% of Nigerians wanted other methods of selecting the country’s leadership.
Interestingly, the proportion of Nigerians that wanted a democratic system of government declined from 74% in 2020 to 71% in 2023 while those that wanted other methods of choosing Nigeran leadership rose from 23% in 2020 to 27% in 2023.
Most Nigerians, 78%, wanted the opposition parties to cooperate with the ruling party in 2023. This was higher than the 69% of Nigerians in 2015 who said that the opposition party should cooperate with the ruling party.
Apart from INEC, Afrobarometer wanted to know how much trust Nigerians have in other notable institutions in the country.
Religious and traditional leaders are the most trusted in Nigeria as 60% and 50% of the Nigerian respondents said they trusted religious and traditional rulers respectively.
43% of Nigerians trusted the Nigerian armed forces; 28% trusted the country’s courts of law, and 19% trusted the national assembly.
The least trusted entity in Nigeria according to the survey is the Nigeria Police Force. Only 15% of Nigerians trusted the police in this country according to Afrobarometer survey.