Ahead of the Anambra governorship elections scheduled to take place on the 6th of November 2021, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) fixed their party primaries for the 26th of June, 2021. The Anambra governorship election will be an out-of-cycle election, conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The question this census sought to answer was what a select group of PDP delegates felt about a proposal to zone the contest for the Party’s ticket to the South Senatorial zone of the State. The putative argument behind this proposal is the principle of the rotation of power, taking into consideration the fact that the last two governors elected in the state have been from Anambra North and Anambra Central. Framed against the backdrop of similar calls (and counter-calls) at the national level that the Presidency should rotate to the South in 2023, this census set out to determine the attitude and appetite for power rotation among selected PDP delegates ahead of the Anambra primaries. The results of the census may also be indicative of attitudes held by the wider society, particularly voters.
As at the 20th of April 2021, the 16 aspirants screened by the PDP are:
Anambra North Senatorial District:
Tony Nwoye - Anambra North Senatorial District
Anambra Central Senatorial District:
· Genevieve Ekwochi
· Obiora Okonkwo
· Uche Ekwunife
Anambra South Senatorial District
· Chidi Onyemelukwe
· Chris Azugbogu
· Chuma Nzeribe
· Emeka Etiaba
· Godwin Ezeemo
· Godwin Maduka
· Ifedi Okwenna
· Johnny Maduafokwa
· Ubaka Okeke
· Ugochukwu Uba
· Valentine Ozigbo
Anambra is divided into three senatorial districts, 21 local government areas and 326 wards.
An Eagle Badger Consulting telephone census of PDP delegates across 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Anambra State was conducted over three days. Anambra State has 327 wards in total; the sampling frame for the census was the five-member ward executive committees consisting of the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Woman Leader and Youth Leader in all the wards in all 20 LGAs (excluding Anambra West’s 10 wards). The respondents in the sampling frame of the census were 1641 ward executive members of Anambra PDP who will be delegates at the governorship primaries.
Data collected from the census revealed that a significant majority of delegates (62%) were in favour of zoning the PDP’s governorship ticket to the South. An even larger majority of delegates (78%) expressed their belief that the next president of Nigeria should come from the South East. Delegates who were not in favour of zoning the Anambra governorship seat (38%) or the 2023 presidency (22%) all cited ‘merit’ as more important to them than zoning.
The population of the poll was every single member of the Anambra PDP ward executive committee across 20 LGAs. In presenting the findings of the census, the delegates were also grouped into 5 categories reflecting their ward executive offices: Chairman; Deputy Chairman: Secretary; Woman Leader and Youth Leader. Responses were also delineated by LGA, to investigate if there were identifiable and significant regional trends or patterns.
Differences in Opinion
While the majority of respondents in all the LGAs were in support of zoning the Presidency to the South in 2023 (78% in favour), there was less support when the question of zoning the governorship ticket to Anambra South Senatorial District was asked (62%, a fall of 16%), with some LGAs being completely opposed to zoning.
The LGAs that expressed the strongest opposition to zoning the governorship ticket were:
Anaocha (Anambra Central Senatorial District) – 56% opposed
Njikoka (Anambra Central Senatorial District) – 73% opposed
Onitsha North (Anambra North Senatorial District) – 81% opposed
Onitsha South (Anambra North Senatorial District) – 74% opposed
The census also captured differences in issues respondents felt were the most pressing issues facing the state.
INSECURITY ranked highest in 12 LGAs (North: Anambra East, Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Oyi; Central: Anaocha, Awka South, Dunokofia, Idemili North, Idemili South, Njikoka; South: Ihiala, Orumba North). INFRASTRUCTURE was the most mentioned issue in 6 LGAs (North: Ayamelum, Ogbaru; Central: Awka North; South: Aguata, Nnewi North, Nnewi South). UNEMPLOYMENT might have only been ranked highest in 2 LGAs (South: Ekwusigo and Orumba South) but it was the second highest ranked issue in 13 other LGAs; a result that suggests it is an important issue as well.
The use of the right channels to pass messages across to voters is almost as important as the message itself. The census revealed that delegates in different LGAs and demographics assessed candidate information differently.
The most popular media channel in 11 LGAs was SOCIAL MEDIA (North: Ogbaru; Central: Anaocha, Dunokofia, Idemili North, Idemili South, Njikoka; South: Aguata, Ihiala, Nnewi North, Orumba North, Orumba South). Radio was the second most popular information dissemination channel with 5 LGAs ranking it highest (North: Anambra East, Oyi; Central: Awka North, Idemili South; South: Nnewi South). Events like weddings, funerals and political meetings ranked third in 4 LGAs (North: Onitsha North, Onitsha South; Central: Awka South; South: Ekwusigo).
The final question asked by the poll was for respondents to name three aspirants who they felt could win the Anambra governorship election. The three names mentioned most frequently were Valentine Ozigbo, Uche Ekwunife, and Obiora Okonkwo.
It must be stressed that this question was a measure of which candidates the delegates felt could win the general election, and not who they would be voting for at the PDP primaries. The wording of this question was deliberately chosen, as during focus group testing of the questionnaire it was observed that respondents may be reluctant to divulge information about who they would be voting for.
The Anambra State PDP Ward Exco Delegate Census was conducted May 7th-10th, 2020. As the census sampled the entire population within the sampling frame, there is no variance and therefore no uncertainty in the results collected. However, only 931 respondents completed the survey (a 58% response rate). To determine if the non-respondents held opinions that were biased from the respondents, 20 return calls were made. According to Borg and Gall (1989), when polling a large population, surveying 20 respondents is sufficient to make a determination if the non- responding group was biased. There were no significant differences in the responses to the survey between both groups. The responses from the census are therefore applicable to the entire population of 1641 ward executive members. The responses from the 20 follow-up calls were added to the respondents, bringing the total up to 951.
© 2019. Eagle-Badger Consulting