Nigeria has 26 political parties registered by the country’s electoral commission, but its citizens know only a few of them. This is according to a recent poll that sought to measure the awareness of Nigerians on registered political parties as well as their membership in these parties.
The survey conducted by NOI Polls, a leading country-specific polling services provider, revealed that 87 percent of respondents surveyed are more aware of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). This is closely followed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) with 82 percent, while 25 percent of the respondents said they were aware of the All Progress Grand Alliance (APGA).
Nigerians Do Not know much about political parties
Respondents showed equal awareness for the PDP and major opposition party, APC, across all geo-political zones in the country at 47 percent. The South-East zone showed the highest awareness for PDP, at 91 percent, while the South-West zone has the largest proportion of respondents who were aware of the APC, at 89 percent. However, 54 percent of respondents from the South-South zone showed awareness for APGA.
The PDP had until recently prided itself as the only political party in Nigeria that cuts across all ethnicity. The defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which was popular in the South West; the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), popular in the North; the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), also popular in the North; and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), popular in the South East and South South, changed this with a merger in 2013. They formed the All Progressives Congress (APC), which now matches the PDP in terms of nationwide awareness.
Only 2 out of 10 adults claim political afiliation
Although, a lot of Nigerians are aware of the main political parties, they are not actively engaged in the activities of these parties. Just two out of 10 adults in the country are registered members of various political parties and have party membership cards. 8 percent are registered members, but do not have party membership cards. However, seven out of 10 adult Nigerians confirmed that they are not registered to any political party. Majority of them are also not keen to join any.
According to NOI Polls, the reluctance of some Nigerians to join political parties, may be due to general apathy towards politics, political parties and their activities, or due to perceptions of a poor enabling environment for participation of individuals (especially the female gender) in political activities among other reasons.
The two major political parties in Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) hold the largest share of respondents who are registered members of political parties, at 47 percent.
Most of them hear about political parties on TV and radio
The poll conducted in the week that started on December 8, 2014, revealed that the traditional media still play a huge role in making people know about political parties. The TV accounts for 57 percent and the radio, 50 percent. About 32 percent of Nigerians, mostly aged 18-21 years hear about political parties through ‘word of mouth’.
Fourteen parties have presented candidates for Nigeria’s presidential election, which holds on February 14. But representatives of the two most popular parties in the country, APC and PDP, are the ones widely known. A huge percentage of Nigerians are aware of both parties and they are likely going to vote them in the forthcoming election.