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Mixed reactions trail President Buhari’s declaration of June 12 as new Democracy Day

Abuja, Nigeria. June 19th, 2018 – A new public opinion poll by NOIPolls has highlighted mixed reactions trailing President Buhari’s recent declaration of June 12th as Nigeria’s new Democracy Day. The latest poll of 1,000 respondents nationwide, which was conducted in the week commencing 11th June 2018, revealed that fifty-six percent of Nigerians (56 percent) say they are in support of the President’s declaration; while 44 percent say they are not in support of the declaration. This came on the heels of the finding that almost 8 out of 10 respondents (79 percent) interviewed said they were aware of the recent declaration by President Buhari to commemorate June 12 as Nigeria’s new Democracy Day.

Interestingly, the findings highlighted a number of socio-demographic differences. The data showed that while the North-East (75 percent), South-West (69 percent) and North-West (60 percent) geo-political zones constituted the zones with the highest level of support for the President’s declaration; the South-East (70 percent) and South-South (61 percent) regions constituted the bulk of respondents that are not in support of the declaration. Similarly, while respondents between the ages of 18 and 60 years (average of 56 percent) were more in support of the declaration; senior citizens above 60 years (53 percent) did not seem particularly in support.

The poll further probed respondents to better appreciate the reasons behind the mixed level of support towards the declaration, and the responses throw more light on the issue. On the part of 56 percent of respondents in support of the declaration, half of them were of the opinion that Late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12th 1993 election, deserves the honour (50 percent).  This was followed by 20 percent who affirmed their support for the declaration because they believe the June 12th 1993 election was the freest and fairest election Nigeria has ever had, since independence in 1960. In addition, 16 percent were of the opinion that President Buhari’s declaration was done in response to the yearnings and request of Nigerians; and 14 percent perceived the declaration as a progressive decision taken by the administration of President Buhari.

On the other hand, amongst 44 percent of respondents who are NOT in support of the June 12 declaration by President Buhari, the majority (40 percent) were of the opinion that the declaration was not done in good faith; but is a mere political game targeted at gaining support for 2019 elections. This was followed by 35 percent of such respondents who thought that Nigerians are already used to having May 29 as Democracy Day and there was no need for a new date. In addition, 15 percent stated that President Buhari’s government should focus on more important issues facing the country, such as insecurity, poor infrastructure and the harsh impact of the economy on Nigerians. Finally, 10 percent of respondents stated that the president did not follow due process in declaring June 12 as the new Democracy Day in Nigeria. They argued that he should have sent the decision to the National Assembly for their ratification.

In conclusion, the poll has highlighted mixed reactions trailing the declaration of June 12th as the new Democracy Day by President Buhari. On one hand, some social commentators and pundits have termed the action a political masterstroke and progressive action; while on the contrary, others have passed it off as a mere political strategy to boost support for 2019 elections. Nevertheless, this latest poll clearly shows that at least 56 percent of Nigerians applaud and commend the decision by President Muhammadu Buhari to recognise the significance of June 12th 1993 and honour the memory of Late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the election.

Survey Method

The poll was conducted in the week commencing June 11th, 2018. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed. With a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise – within a range of plus or minus 3%. NOIPolls Limited, is the No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa. We conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at or download our mobile app NOIPolls on your smartphone.


This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the general public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published. For more information, please visit our website and you can also download our mobile app NOIPolls on your smart phone.

NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact or for any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken as a result of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking.

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