By Ben Agande, Abuja.
The Presidency Sunday dismissed as ‘voodoo and quackery’ the purported poll results which the All Progressive Congress said it conducted that shows the popularity rating of President Goodluck Jonathan as being lower than that of a yet to be named candidate of the APC.
In an interview Sunday, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati said rather than engage in subject matter that it had neither expertise on competence, the APC should concentrate on making its identity known to Nigerians.
“I have read a statement issued by Alhaji Lai Muhammed with regards to the plan by the APC to unveil its manifesto on Thursday.
“While we share the view that the APC has the view to unveil its manifesto because nobody really knows what the party stands for and Nigerians are curious to have a properly articulated position of the APC rather than its inarticulate engagement with Nigerian public but the basis on which the APC is trying to unveil the manifesto is dubious and suspicious.
“The APC is, according to Muhammed, is presenting its poll on the basis on certain poll that it conducted which shows the administration in a bad light.
“I have read the details of the poll purportedly conducted by the APC. To start with, polling in any category at all is a very serious business. It is not something that any roadside adventurer can engage in.
“What the APC has done is that, it has abandoned its core business of politics to dabble into polling, and what it has come up with is a voodoo exercise. The result of the polls purportedly conducted by the APC is nothing but a great exercise in quackery.
“APC is not licensed to be a polling agency, it has neither the expertise and the exposure nor the track record. It is not surprising that the outcome of its so-called polling is dubious.
“It says for example that if elections were to be held today, whether Nigerians will vote for President Goodluck Jonathan or the candidate of the APC.
“To the best of everybody’s knowledge, the APC does not even have a candidate yet. It has not named anybody as its candidate, the INEC has not even blown any whistle to initiate the submission of names of candidates.
“The APC on the basis of an unknown candidate is saying that their candidate will have a 10-point lead. I don’t think Nigerians are that gullible. It does not make sense, it does not look objective.
“The parameters and variables used are suspicious. People don’t vote for unknown characters. At that level, I think this is a kind of polling in which you work to a predetermined answer. The polling is a very good illustration of quackery.
“They also came up with a claim that President Jonathan has done nothing to create jobs. This is nothing but a gross display of ignorance. The ignorance is self-imposed because the administration has done more than enough and will continue to do a lot to demonstrate how it has been creating jobs.
“In fact, job and wealth creation are two cardinal objectives and targets and achievements of this administration.
“For the APC to pretend in their voodoo polling that they are not aware of that is the height of dishonesty and their statement should be disregarded.
“There is nothing in this voodoo polling that Lai Muhammed has not said before. So any discerning reader of the statement will see very clearly that this is just clearly partisan politicking. The kind of politics that is played without being clever about it. It is crude, unintelligent and the vodoo nature of it and the quackery that surrounds it make it more meaningless.
“What we know is that professional polling agencies have shown and the most recent one is the one by NOI Polls, which had a good track record, the result from that is that the President’s popularity is on the rise.
“In that report, President Jonathan was given a 61 per cent job performance rating. It even noted that this is a major increase in the President’s rating.
“But this APC is obviously going through a crisis of identity. The owners of the party must make up their minds whether they are running a political party or a voodoo polling agency” he concluded.