The NOI poll, which put Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) candidate for president, in the lead for next year’s elections, has been criticised by major political parties.
The former governor of Anambra is in the lead with 21% of the vote, according to the NOI poll commissioned by the Anap Foundation and released on Thursday.
According to the survey, the presidential race was a three-horse race, with Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) finishing second and third, respectively, with 13% of the vote each. With a 3% vote, Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) presidential candidate Rabiu Kwankwaso came in fourth place.
However, the survey was rejected by the APC, PDP, and NNPP in their responses, claiming that it did not accurately reflect the situation on the ground.
Atiku Abubakar’s presidential campaign spokesperson Daniel Bwala questioned the methods used for the exercise during his appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Thursday. He claimed Obi was experiencing the euphoria of a hallucination.
Bwala argued that a “normal poll that will attract credibility would be a poll that will release the sample size and the margin of error as the report is being released because the sample size and the margin of error will help in identifying whether the polling was carried out correctly or not.
“Then, you can further ask for the sampling. Was it done through a phone call? If it was done through a phone call, the people who did not have phones were probably not part of the polling.
“You also go to the extent of demographics and the place where the polling was carried out. I know they said it was random sampling. But then, because of the result, I’m tempted to believe that this polling was carried out online because Peter Obi has a number of people who are very active for him online, much more than the other candidates.
“I will tell you why: There was an algorithm search and data analytics that was carried out that came up with the finding that 57.5 per cent of people who follow Peter Obi and engage with him on social media do not live in Nigeria. In fact, most of them are bots on Twitter — they are not real human beings.”
He said: “If you take away 57.5 per cent of people who are active for him, who probably live abroad and they don’t have voter cards, and they are likely not to come to vote, what it means is that Peter Obi is basking in the euphoria of hallucination, and this polling is a true reflection.”
On July 20, 2022, Senator Kashim Shettima was formally introduced as the APC vice presidential candidate in Abuja.
The most recent Anap survey, according to the APC, is not representative of Nigerian reality because, according to the organisers, “dubious” facts were used to “package” Obi for voters.
In a statement, the APC Presidential Campaign Council’s director of media and publicity, Bayo Onanuga, accused the NOI of using “political bias in an election era create falsify data.”
“The NOI has chosen the preferred candidate and has decided to use fake, dubious statistics for packaging him to the Nigerian voters,” Onanuga said in the statement.
“We know, as a matter of fact, the owners of NOI and where their political interest lies and wish to advise NOI to stop polluting the political system with irresponsible, unscientific, and biased polling so that we don’t expose the puppeteers pulling its strings.”
Along with the APC, the NNPP stated that it was unconcerned by the poll, claiming that previous similar surveys from the same organisation had produced inaccurate results.
“We are not hurt in any way. Absolutely, we are not hurt. In fact, I was contemplating not coming to this programme because coming here means we have made the people who promoted the poll achieve what they want to achieve,” the spokesperson of the NNPP Abdulmumin Jibrin said on Politics Today. “All they want to do is to create a public conversation so that we continue to talk about it, creating the image as if Obi is very much ahead.”
Jibrin claimed that Obi and the Labour Party were dividing the nation and that the former governor would only receive support from his region in the southeast.
“The only place Obi will demystify structure is in the country’s southeastern part. That is where whether he has a structure or no structure, he will make an impression because their party and its candidate are divisive elements. All they do is to divide Nigerians,” he maintained.
However, the LP says the poll shows Nigerians are ready for a new order of governance.
“It shows that Nigerians have come to terms with our reality that there has to be a change and a new order from the old because it is very obvious they are languishing in abject poverty,” the party’s spokesman Abayomi Arabambi said.
“There are no jobs for Nigerians. Schools are under lock and key due to executive rascality and malfeasance of the present administration.”