The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has faulted the NOI polls which placed him below the presidential standard-bearer of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, ahead of the 2023 general election.
Tinubu described the NOI polls as “dubious and unreliable”, saying the APC was unperturbed by the statistics.
The NOI poll results had shown a significant lead for Obi with 21% of voters proposing to vote for him if the presidential election were to be conducted today, 13% proposing to vote for Tinubu and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, who were both tied in second place.
Reacting to the poll results, the Director, Media and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Bayo Onanuga, in a statement issued on Thursday, said NOI has always been releasing fraudulent statistics in an election period.
Onanuga stated: “We are unperturbed by these dubious and unreliable statistics because our research shows that NOI Polls have been off the mark at critical election periods in recent times.
“For example, preparatory to the March 2015 presidential elections, NOI published in October 2014 the results of a ‘Viability Poll’ which used the concepts of Familiarity and Net Favourability Position to survey.
“In the results, NOI claimed that President Goodluck Jonathan has the best overall familiarity rating at 99% and Net Favourability Probability of ±25.
“By contrast, NOI dismissed the then All Progressives Congress candidate, Muhammadu Buhari as a ‘borderline candidate’ who needed ‘huge public relations’ to shore up his performance.
“But when the Nigerian people went to the polls, who won? The APC candidate and now President, Muhammadu Buhari.
“This is not the only instance when the NOI has turned its political bias in an election period to fraudulent statistics.
“Towards the 2019 presidential election, and knowing fully that President Muhammadu Buhari was going for re-election for a second term in office, the NOI pollsters embarked on another abracadabra.
“In June 2017, they issued the results of another poll, that Nigerians prefer a middle-aged president claiming that this poll was inspired by the election of Macron as the president of France and the campaign of the Not Too Young To Run.
“According to the predictable bias, NOI claimed that 64% said they would prefer to vote for a presidential candidate between the ages of 40 and 50 years, and 15% preferred candidates between 51 and 60. In short, for a presidential candidate in his 70s running for re-election, NOI results meant certain defeat. But when the Nigerian people went to the polls on February 23, 2019, the man the NOI polls had tried to bully with statistics out of the race won again.
“It is significant that at the time NOI was generating unrealistic figures to boost the ego of President Jonathan, a more serious and independent team of pollsters- Neo-Telligence based in the United Kingdom used geo-demographics and public sentiment analysis to forecast the emergence of President Buhari.
“By contrast, their empirical analysis showed that two years before the 2015 presidential elections, Goodluck Jonathan’s public approval rating on corruption, insecurity, and the economy had nosedived across most of the battleground states,” he noted.
Onanuga further accused NOI of using “fake and dubious” statistics to present Peter Obi to the electorate in the country ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
He added: “Our objective profiling of NOI Polls as an anti-APC research organisation is grounded on the aforesaid facts and that is why we believe this present report is, in the language of Nigerians, ‘wuruwuru to the answer’.
“The NOI has chosen the preferred candidate and has decided to use fake, dubious statistics to package him to the Nigerian voters.
“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.
“Our party is putting every necessary machinery in motion to win the federal elections with a margin that will be too wide to contest. Our candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu recorded the highest votes of a senator across the country under the Social Democratic Party in July 1992. He will do it on nationwide scale on February 25, 2023,” the director of the APC campaign council stated.