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Cablegate: Informal Presidential Poll: Atiku Doesn't Make The

VZCZCXRO1617
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHUJA #1934 2071218
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 261218Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6582
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 4682
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC

UNCLAS ABUJA 001934

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM NI ELECTIONS
SUBJECT: INFORMAL PRESIDENTIAL POLL: ATIKU DOESN'T MAKE THE
TOP TEN


1. On July 24, the Daily Champion newspaper published an
informal poll of possible presidential candidates in Nigeria.
The poll question was "Who do you want to be the next
president?" The poll ran from May 29 to July 22 and was
widely publicized on popular radio stations. To participate,
Nigerians sent cellular phone text messages naming their
choice for "A People's President," regardless of party
affiliation. The poll made no claims to scientific accuracy,
and post does not present it as such. We repeat the poll
results here as an interesting snapshot of the thinking of a
cross-section of Nigerians.

2. Published poll results merely listed the 10 most popular
candidates. The organizers did not release the total number
of votes recieved or the rank order of the top ten. The poll
found that the 10 most popular presidential candidates were:

Professor Dora Akunyili, Director-General of NAFDAC
General Ibrahim Babangida, former military head of state
General Muhammadu Buhari, former military head of state
Governor Donald Duke, Cross River State
Governor Sam Egwu, Ebonyi State
Governor Orji Kalu, Abia State
Governor Peter Odili, Rivers State
Reverend Chris Okotie, founder of the Fresh Political Party
Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, Minister of the Federal Capital
Territory
Professor Pat Utomi, director of Lagos Business School

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3. The survey was sponsored by Silverbird Group, owners of
Silverbird Television and Rhythm FM; Vanguard Media,
publishers of the Vanguard newspaper; and Daar
Communications, owners of Ray Power FM and Africa Independent
Television. Survey results were verified by the accounting
firm Akintola Williams Deloitte.

4. COMMENT. While the list of candidates is an interesting
snapshot of who potential presidential candidates might be,
what is more interesting are two names which are not on the
list. Most significantly, Vice President Atiku Abubakar did
not muster enough popular support to appear in the top ten.
Also missing is former military governor of Lagos State
General Buba Marwa. Marwa launched his campaign in June, and
Atiku has long been the center of public speculation
surrounding his ambitions for the presidency. END COMMENT.
FUREY

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