The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Aliyu Waziri, has dismissed pre-election opinion polls giving the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, the lead in the February 25, presidential election.
While faulting the polls, the chieftain described the former Anambra State governor as a ‘ learner’ without the required structure to emerge victorious.
He stated this at a briefing on the public presentation and launching of a book on the leadership style of the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, titled “Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu: Builder of Leaders” authored by an APC chieftain and political commentator, Aliyu Butu.
Recall that series of polls conducted by both local and international organisations put Obi ahead of Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).
Reacting, Waziri, the co-chairman of the organising committee for the event, said though Obi is a good team player, he cannot win the presidential race based on realities on the ground.
He stated: “Projections are just projections. Obi is a good team player but he is learning. We are working day and night to ensure Tinubu emerge victorious. We are having about 21 governors on our side and almost 99 per cent of the grassroots support. The pedigree of our candidate is what matter. Just Look at what he has done in Lagos. He made Lagos the largest economy in West Africa and I am sure he will replicate that all over the country when elected as president”.
Commenting, the author of the book, Butu described Tinubu as a builder of men with a better character than any other presidential candidate in the race.
He assured that the former Lagos State governor will do a better job as president than his opponents, adding that “he will be sagacious, strong will and effect the needed change in the country”.
“He (Tinubu) has supported so many of us here, and others holding various offices. I started writing this book even before Tinubu announced his intention to contest for the number one post. We know him as a mentor and father.
“I want to show the whole world who Asiwaju is and how he has helped to build leaders in Nigeria from different religions and ethnic backgrounds. From the Vice president, speaker of the House of Representatives, governors, and lawmakers, indeed, Asiwaju has built a lot of people.
“When Buhari was being frustrated by military elites and political capitalists, it was Tinubu who assisted him through a hard time and ensure that he emerged president. I believe Asiwaju has the capacity to turn things around and we will continue to support him”.
Spokesperson of the NNPP, Agbor Major, on his part said most of the polls were giving misleading results designed to promote certain candidates as leading contenders.
He said: “More worrisome is that most media houses have fallen for this joke that has many far-reaching implications to the credibility of the elections and the security of the country. One cannot blame the Media for reporting these fake opinion polls, however, the fourth realm of the estate needs to be wary to celebrate these falsehoods in their reportage.
The so-called groups conducting these fake polls may be doing so in order to: “Connive with some candidates to deceive the public and confer undue advantage on some preferred candidates.
“Deceive the undecided voters to move their attention to a dubiously acclaimed winning candidate. Discourage supporters of other candidates so as to sway their support to the fraudulently acclaimed leading candidate.
“Set up a booby trap for potential crisis if the criminally promoted candidate does not win by crying rigging.
We cannot forget in a hurry our experience in 2011 when the country was thrown into an unavoidable crisis following alleged rigging of elections due to fake opinion polls bandied before the elections.
“Many lives and properties were destroyed due to the wickedness of fake pollsters and the laxity of authorities. Therefore, it is pertinent to call on all these fake public opinion poll mongers to desist from driving the country into crisis. We equally call on security agencies to be alive to their responsibilities and be more interested in the activities of all the dubious social media public opinion polls warriors.
“We cannot sit down and allow selfish and fake individuals to aggravate the tense situation we are passing through in our dear country by releasing fake opinion polls results which are as dangerous as releasing fake election results. They are a recipe for political upheavals, anarchy and crisis in the polity.”