The campaign councils of three leading presidential candidates in the 2023 general election have dismissed a recent opinion poll that put the candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, ahead of them.
In the result of the poll conducted and released by ANAP Foundation, on Thursday, Peter Obi was ranked first, beating Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).
Both Messrs Tinubu and Atiku shared the second position, while Mr Kwankwaso came a distant fourth position in the poll.
In the percentage rating, the LP candidate got 21 per cent while the APC and PDP candidates garnered only 13 per cent each from the poll said to have been conducted across the six geo-political zones in the country.
The researchers did not disclose the methodology and the number of people that participated in the poll.
Speaking on “Politics Today” a programme on Channels Television, on Thursday, the spokespersons of the campaign councils of the NNPP, PDP and APC, took turns to tear the outcome of the poll, saying it is laughable.
Abdulmumin Jubril, the spokesperson of the NNPP presidential campaign council, said the programme gave credence to the poll which should have been ignored.
Against the projection of the poll that Mr Kwankwaso, a former two-term governor of Kano State, lost the north, Mr Jubril said his principal has the region on “lockdown” and will garner the rest of the needed votes from the other parts of the country to win the February presidential election.
“Let me say this, NOI poll clearly projected that Jonathan would win the 2015 election but he lost, which included many other works (NOI) has done. There is no work that they have done, where you can say that the projections are right or anything.
“Well, that is the extent that I will go in giving any recognition to that statement. It is absolutely false and is not a representation of the reality on ground, particularly if you are talking about the northern part. I have said this repeatedly, Rabiu Kwankwaso has the northern part on lockdown, in a matter of three to four months, the fact will emerge,” he argued.
Weighing the chances of both Messrs Tinubu and Atiku against Mr Kwankwaso, Mr Jubril described the APC presidential candidate as “a good person (pilot) in a bad party (aeroplane) called APC.”
He said Mr Obi and supporters are divisive but admitted to the chance of Atiku picking a fair number of votes across the country in the election.
It’s mere hallucination, concocted trash – Bwala, Onanuga
In his reaction, the PDP campaign spokesperson, Daniel Bwala, said Mr Obi is basking in the euphoria of social media hallucination.
He dismissed the result of the poll and vowed to throw a party if the LP candidate is able to win just three states in the South-east, widely considered to be his stronghold.
Mr Bwala dismissed the poll on the ground that it failed to provide size of the participants, methodology and the margin of error which are basics in conducting a poll.
“I know they said it is a random sampling. But then, because of the result I am tempted to believe that this polling was carried out online because Peter Obi has a measure of people who are very active for him online much more than the other candidate and I will tell you why.
“There was an algorithm and data analytics that was carried out that came up with the finding that 57.5% of people who follow Peter Obi and engaged for him on social media do not live in Nigeria. In fact, the majority of whom are bots on Twitter, they are not real human beings.
“If you take away 57.5% of the people who are active for him, who probably live abroad and they don’t have voters card they are likely not to come to vote, then what it means is that Peter is basking in the euphoria of hallucination and this (poll) result is a true reflection of that,” he argued.
Mr Bwala said Atiku is the only candidate among the four that is accepted across the regions.
He supported his assertion by saying that President Muhammadu Buhari will not be on the ballot in the coming elections and this will be in favour of Atiku presumable as far as the north is concerned.
He said the PDP presidential candidate lost the 2019 election to Mr Buhari by over two million votes “when the APC was more united”.
The spokesman of the APC presidential campaign council, Bayo Onanuga, in his brief reaction, said the poll that gave Obi a lead was “concocted and meant for the trash can.”
He noted that Mr Tinubu, believed to have an edge in the South-west, had only 18 per cent according to the poll.
“If you look at it, the reason why you have to dismiss this is this, the NOI poll gives our candidates 18% in the South-west, that is our own base. You don’t need to do any opinion poll to know that that is the stronghold of our candidate. And they went to the North-east and gave our candidate 18 per cent again, whereas the same people gave Peter Obi 64 per cent in the South-east. You can see that there is no logic in this thing,” Mr Onanuga argued.
FULL LIST: Osinbajo, Dogara missing as Aregbesola makes Tinubu’s presidential campaign team
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo is conspicuously missing as the All Progressives Congress (APC) released the presidential campaign council list of its flagbearer Bola Tinubu ahead of the 2023 election.
James Faleke, secretary, APC presidential campaign council, released the list in Abuja on Friday.
Also missing are Yakubu Dogara, former speaker of the house of representatives, Babachir Lawal, former secretary to the government of the federation, and Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, former minister of state for education.
The duo had distanced themselves from the party’s Muslim-Muslim ticket and the emergence of Tinubu and Kashim Shettima.
On the list, Simon Lalong, governor of Plateau State, retained his position as director-general, while Adams Oshiomhole, former APC chairman and Bayo Onanuga remained deputy director-general (operations) and director of media and publicity, respectively.
Rauf Aregbesola, former Osun governor and minister of interior, also made the list.
The list includes names of serving and former state governors of the party, ministers, senators and other members of the APC.
SEE FULL LIST:
It’s in Igbo’s best interest to support Tinubu – Fredrick Nwabufo
Could Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), be that unifier a sundered Nigeria needs? What are his antecedents as regards respect for diversity and sensitivity to inclusion? Well, as governor of Lagos, Tinubu had a diverse cabinet; in fact, he is reputed to be one of the few governors who appointed non-natives into state cabinets at the time – when it was unsexy to do so.
Tinubu showed his expansiveness as governor of Lagos. And over the years, he has shown an aspect of himself as a Nigerian flag-waver. Tinubu cannot be put on trial for religious or ethnic prejudice. He can be accused of any other character errancy, but not of sectarianism, insularity or dogmatism.
I believe Tinubu’s presidency is the south-east’s best chance at re-centring itself in national politics. At the moment, Tinubu is the only candidate from the south who enjoys plural support across the divide, groups, zones and regions. So, it is only logical that consciences and interests in the south are mobilised behind him.
I thought by now the south-east must have learnt from the perils of political naivety. It is imprudent of a group of Igbo elders under ‘’Igbo Elders Consultative Forum’’ to declare publicly that they are not in support of Tinubu’s presidential bid. This was the same path these elders toed in 2015 against Muhammadu Buhari which resulted in the political blackballing of the zone. I am of the opinion that elders should be temperate and circumspect on matters of this tenor.
I suggest, they should be fair and equitable in their support for Peter Obi. What is sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander. Scorched-earth politics will only leave the land barren. They could have elected to be neutral or stay aloof. They could have also deployed tact in managing all political interests without publicly showing preference for any.
The south-east must cast its net wide and consider some possible outcomes. The APC and its presidential candidate are options they must explore. Going all head in in politics is injudicious.
We should be wary of repeating the same mistakes of 2015. We must not let our emotions colour our reality. We must not walk starry-eyed into political Siberia. We must not attempt another hara-kiri.
As I said in a previous column, the Labour Party is not a viable vehicle to ride to victory. It is a rustled-up contraption without deep roots across the country. The south-east regaining its place means it must look beyond a solitary party – that is the Labour Party (LP). It must put itself in the thick of things – at the centre — and play realpolitik. To sit at the table, it must wrest itself from the enchantment of the Labour Party and its candidate. We go all in and throw all in but get nothing out.
One Igbo leader who seems to be reading the hieroglyphics of the times right is Orji Uzo Kalu. Kalu is playing realpolitik. He understands the art of the deal. Orji Kalu, despite his reputational flaws, could be the politician that would take the south-east out of political Siberia.
He said in a recent interview: “Presidency is not a regional issue. I asked the political parties to zone the presidency to the south-east. When they didn’t do that, and since the presidency is not a regional issue, I had to withdraw. I have no problem with the Igbo man being president, but we have to do it with other Nigerians. If we don’t do it with other Nigerians, it will not work, no matter how popular you are. It’s the president of Nigeria, not the president of Igbo land. But for now, our presidential candidate is Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Tinubu is strategic. He will make his presidency beneficial to the Igbo. The Igbo will be the biggest beneficiaries of Tinubu’s presidency.’’
I agree, Tinubu’s presidency will be of great benefit to the Igbo. Really, it will be a coup de maître if more Igbo leaders join Orji Kalu in his crusade for Tinubu. Who says the south-east and the south-west cannot work in political consonance?
However, it is important that Tinubu begins now to show the prospects of inclusion and of sensitivity to diversity in his disposition, plans and policy paradigms. It is important he emphasises that there will be no perpetuation of exclusivist proclivities which deepen national strife and insecurity.
Tinubu should reach out to the south-east, traditional rulers, political leaders and everyday citizens with intentions and plans of bringing them into one composite fold where all Nigerians can exist under justice, equity, peace and harmony.
It is in the best interest of the south-east to support Tinubu. I believe Tinubu’s presidency will be for all Nigerians.
By Fredrick Nwabufo, Nwabufo aka Mr OneNigeria is a writer and journalist.
Published by TheCable
Obi wants to cause religious crisis — Keyamo
Festus Keyamo, the presidential campaign spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress, APC, says he is convinced Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of Labour Party, LP, wants to cause religious crisis in the country by circulating hate message against Tinubu and failing to apologise for his action.
Keyamo, who was responding to a call by the LP on security agencies to place him on security watch, said:
“I also call on the security agencies in Nigeria to place Mr. Peter Obi and his some of his demented supporters on the terror watch lists for circulating an incendiary video with a fake message by one of his supporters called Powell Glad Legbe (on his Facebook page) calling on Yorubas not to vote for Peter Obi,” he said.
“Mr. Peter Obi then wrongly and wickedly attributed that quote to an amorphous ‘Tinubu group’. Up till now he has not withdrawn his accusation nor has he apologised to our candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“It is obvious Mr. Peter Obi wants to cause religious crises in the country and for this, I call on the security agencies to place Mr. Peter Obi on security watch or invite him for a thorough investigation. If necessary, I prepared to be invited too as a witness to prove my case against him.”
Keyamo had earlier alleged that Obi was planning to fake an assassination attempt by hiring hoodlums donning APC caps and T-shirts to attack his party offices.
Keyamo also accused the former governor of Anambra of stoking ethnic tensions and divisions in a viral video showing him saying that people have been asked not to vote for him in the south-west to malign Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the APC.
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