WASHINGTON, D.C., October 8, 2020 – Just weeks before the 2020 presidential election, the International Committee on Nigeria (ICON) released the results of a new survey today, finding the overwhelming majority of voters in North Carolina are aware of persecution in Nigeria, including mass killings of women and children, and more likely to vote to re-elect President Donald Trump if he sends a special envoy to address the issue.
The statewide survey, by Mitchell Research & Communications, Inc., was conducted throughout the Battleground state of North Carolina from September 22-25, 2020 on behalf of ICON. It was conducted online among a cross section of 600 adults age 18 and over. In the survey, 45.2% of respondents were voting for Donald Trump, 44.5% for Joe Biden, and 6% were undecided.
Some key findings:
- Sixty percent of the voters are aware of persecution of Christians in Nigeria with at least some detail (31%) or all details (21%)
- There are no differences depending on presidential choice.
- There is strong support (up to 68% of all voters) to take action against the persecution of Christians in Nigeria.
- Sixty-one percent of respondents were more likely to vote for President Trump if he were to send a U.S. special envoy to Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.
- Trump voters 34% “much more likely” and 44% “little more likely”
- Biden voters 15% “much more likely” and 30% “little more likely”
- Undecided voters 17% “much more likely” and 31% “little more likely”
“This survey confirms that defending religious freedom here and abroad is a key issue for voters in the battleground of North Carolina, important enough to influence their vote in what many are considering the most significant presidential election in American history,” said Kyle Abts, co-founder of ICON. “I strongly urge the Administration to take note and take action before things in Nigeria get any worse.”
“Given the gravity of what’s happening in Nigeria – with innocent men, women, and children being systematically slaughtered by the hundreds, sometimes on a daily basis, simply for choosing to follow Jesus – I am not surprised there is overwhelming support for U.S. action,” said Stephen Enada, co-founder of ICON. “We need to send a special envoy now to stop the violence.”
In December, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended designating Nigeria a Country of Particular Concern, effectively calling out the government for tolerating human rights and religious freedom violations, sending a strong signal that our government will not stand for these abuses. ICON and others close to the issue, including members of Congress and advocacy groups, say there is more to be done. Specifically, they’re asking President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to appoint a special envoy to Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.
A special envoy is a senior official appointed by the U.S. Department of State to deal with a specific set of issues. In this case, the specific charge would be to oversee discussions with the Nigerian government to restore peace to the country. With the full backing of the U.S. government, the special envoy would have the power to hold perpetrators of religious violence and other crimes accountable.
“Nearly 100,000 Nigerians have been brutally killed since 2000 as their own government has turned a blind eye,” Enada continued. “We cannot allow this to continue. Without intervention, I am confident Nigeria is headed down a road similar to Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Darfur, and Myanmar. This is one of the most consequential issues we face. It’s critical that we act now.”
The survey’s margin of error is ±4 percentage points for 600 adults at the 95% confidence level.