Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State, has dismissed the winning chances of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, in this month’s election.
The governor, who appeared on Television Continental’s programme, Journalists’ Hangout, on Thursday, said the presidential election is between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because they have the needed footprint and the spread to secure majority votes in the exercise.
El-Rufai likened the former Anambra State governor to a Nollywood actor, adding that he lacks the necessary support from Kano, Katsina and Sokoto to win the election.
According to him, the different polls predicting Obi’s victory are simply unreliable and a joke.
“Opinion polls are distorted. Look, data analytics is one area that I’m in love with. When I was a student at the Kennedy School of Government, I was a teaching assistant for statistics, so I understand these things. I’m not talking as a politician who is a layman; I understand these things. The important thing is to look at the samples followed by your methodology.
“When you have about 100 million registered voters and you are sampling 2,000 registered voters or 300 registered voters, your results from day one are unreliable; they will have high margins of error. And most of these polls are like that.
“What about methodology? Most of these polls like the one by Bloomberg, ANAP, and the one by Okonjo Iweala all used the telephone.
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“What percentage of registered voters has phone numbers in INEC’s records? We have found out and it’s 31 percent. So, from the beginning, you are starting with only 31 percent of the total sample of voters. So, if you pick your sample of 31 percent, from day one, your results are dead on arrival.
“I can take each and every one of these polls and deconstruct them because I understand what is sampling, I understand methodology and those polls are a joke, with the greatest respect.
“We have done a poll with a sample of nearly 40,000 across Nigeria and the result of the poll shows that we are ahead. It’s going to be a tight election, there are a large percentage of undecided, so we all must work hard to swing the undecided to our side. But we are ahead.
“How can Peter Obi win any election? Peter Obi is polling only one percent in Sokoto, two percent in Katsina, and five percent in Kano, that’s where the votes are. All states are not equal. The fact that you are doing 70 percent in Anambra State does not mean somebody doing 10 percent in Kano is not better than you”.
Backing El-Rufai’s assessment, Festus Keyamo, spokesperson for the APC Presidential Campaign Council said on Twitter, “obidients, come and listen to this. No disrespect for all your work, but the demography of Nigeria is much more complex and complicated than your projections.
“I will give you my full commiserations and encouragement after Feb. 25th. It’s in my draft box waiting for now.”