The Third Man? Electoral Sentiment in Nigeria & Peter Obi

by | Sep 28, 2022


Peter Obi has often been described as an unlikely candidate in the race for Nigeria’s presidency. Against a backdrop of profound political disaffection, economic pessimism, and internal insecurity, Nigerians appear to be turning to him as their top choice to lead Africa’s most populous country.    

Premise’s Approach

Premise conducted a poll between the 5th and 20th September 2022 and gathered the results from 3,967 individual Nigerian Contributors. Respondents were selected according to quotas developed by age, gender, and geography to ensure representation across Nigeria’s six diverse geopolitical regions. Submissions were subject to rigorous quality control. Results were then weighted against the original quota targets derived from the 2006 Nigerian census and demographic projections dating from 2019, ensuring overall national representativeness.

Some of the key questions we wanted to determine were: how viable is the candidacy of Peter Obi? What factors could be adduced to explain his remarkable rise as the new power in Nigerian politics? Also, who supports him, and why?

The Results

72% of decided voters name Peter Obi as their preferred choice for president, followed by Bola Tinubu (16%) and Atiku Abubakar (9%). Obi also leads among undecided voters (45%).

Obi’s support is the greatest among women aged 18-24 (82%) and the least among men aged 25-34 (59%). He commands a lead among both genders and all ages of the 92% of Nigerians who say they have decided for whom to vote and who say they will vote.

Who will you choose to be President of Nigeria?

Nigerians express grave pessimism towards the state of their nation. Three-quarters say that Nigeria is “headed in the wrong direction.”  When asked to name their top concern, 41% say the economy and jobs, 31% corruption, and 16% national security.

As you think about the concerns facing your community, what would you say is the most important issue?

Television is seen as the most credible source of news by pluralities of all age groups, which questions the received wisdom that Obi’s support is a product of avid followers of social media. 

Men and women who are between 18-24-years-old are the most likely to trust social media and the least likely to vote (23% and 30% of those who are aware of the election saying that they will anyway not vote).

Which of the following news sources do you find most credible?


The results show that the candidacy of Peter Obi cannot be dismissed. He commands considerable nationwide support across all ages and genders. Furthermore, his candidacy comes at a time of profound political disaffection, economic pressure, and internal insecurity.

Obi’s candidacy may have excited imaginations too. Nigerians look keen to participate at the polls, and most of them expect the elections to reflect their genuine choice, despite the widespread fear of violence.

This begs the question; what could happen in Nigeria if the “people’s choice” doesn’t enter office in Abuja? 

*If you would like to see more, click here for the cross tabulation table.


About Premise

Premise offers crowdsourced information from real people on the ground in hard-to-reach places. Over five million people in 140 countries are using the Premise app on their smartphones, enabling our customers to monitor a situation over time and employ a data-driven approach to timely decision-making. To learn more about Premise, watch our tech demo or get in touch with us.