A survey by the Africa Polling Institute has revealed that Nigerians’ trust in the regime of retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari is 26 per cent.
The survey also showed that “citizens have more trust in religious leaders (55%) and traditional leaders (44%); compared to the Buhari government (26%), the judicial system (26%), the National Assembly (22%) and the Nigeria Police (22%).”
It reveals growing citizens distrust towards the state and fellow citizens; as well as a proclivity for ethnicity over nationalism.
The Nigeria Social Cohesion Index report released in Abuja on Thursday, was computed as 44.2 per cent, which is below the average 50 percentage point, indicating that Nigeria is not as socially cohesive as it ought to be.
According to the API, the survey was undertaken to develop a social cohesion index for Nigeria and measure citizens perception on the state of social cohesion.
The survey report, which was presented at an event attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, noted that the country had become more divided today than it was four years ago.
The report was based on the observation by 65 per cent of citizens interviewed; representing a whopping 20-point increase from 2019’s score of 45 per cent.
API with the support of Ford Foundation, conducted the nationwide Citizens Perception Survey to measure social cohesion in Nigeria, between the months of April and May 2021.
A total of 8,114 contacts were contacted out of which 5,363 interviews were completed, representing a response rate of 66.09 per cent.
The institute led by Prof Bell Ihua said all interviews were conducted by face-to-face using the Stratified Random Sampling technique; with citizens aged 18 years and above.
The interviews were conducted in five major languages: English, Pidgin, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba; and geographic quotas were assigned to ensure that all senatorial district and states were proportionately represented in the sample.
The report said, “The trend analysis reveals a decline in the proportion of Nigerians that feel truly proud of the nation. In 2019, 55 per cent of citizens said they felt truly proud of Nigeria; however, by 2021 this proportion has declined to 42 per cent, representing a 13 per cent decline.
“Similarly, the proportion of Nigerians that feel truly disappointed in the country has increased – from 30 per cent in 2019 to 49 per cent in 2021, representing a 19 per cent increase.”
According to the API, the survey was built upon 10 key indicators to measure social cohesion in Nigeria in terms of identity; trust; social justice; participation and patriotism; natural resources governance; gender equity; impunity; corruption, self-worth and future expectation.
Overall, the results of the Nigeria Social Cohesion Survey 2021 and the Nigeria Social Cohesion Index, computed with a score of 44.2 per cent, suggest that Nigeria currently falls slightly below the average threshold of a socially cohesive country,” the report concluded.