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Pollster Denies Nigeria Victory Prediction a 'Sham'

  • Peter Clottey

Electoral officers unload election materials from a vehicle at the Independent National Electoral Commission building in northern city of Kano, Nigeria, April 3, 2011

Electoral officers unload election materials from a vehicle at the Independent National Electoral Commission building in northern city of Kano, Nigeria, April 3, 2011

The chief executive officer for sub-Saharan Africa of IPSO, an international market research company, denies accusations his organization’s latest poll that predicts Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan will win a first round presidential vote is a “sham.”

David Summers says IPSO’s polling research was, in his words, based on stringent scientific methodology.

“The main outcome of the poll is that [Mr.] Jonathan is leading the presidential election with a margin of 62.1 percent of those who say they will vote for [Mr.] Jonathan. He is followed by [Muhammadu] Buhari with 23.6 percent [and Mallam Nuhu] Ribadu with 6 percent… So, we see that there is a clear lead for PDP [People’s Democratic Party] overall,” said Summers.

“We also see that there [are] quite a number of states where PDP is getting the minimal, what we would say 25 percent, to be elected in the first round,” he added.

Nigeria is scheduled to hold its presidential election on April 16 and state-level elections on April 26.

Opponents of President Jonathan say the latest poll was skewed in favor of the incumbent leader and his ruling PDP.

“We followed quite a stringent methodology. We interviewed face-to-face 11,100 people in the first phase and this is now the second phase where we interviewed 11,006 people partly face-to-face and partly with telephonic interviews. From [a] scientific and specific point of view, this is really solid and this is really sound research,” said Summers.

“There were positive noises coming our way as there were skeptical noises coming our way. I think it is great for us to be able to do something like this in cooperation with somebody like This Day [newspaper] since it published this result and also [was] a part of this research,” he added.

Meanwhile, Nigeria's top election official says parliamentary elections will again be delayed in some parts of the country because there are not enough ballot papers. This is the third time in six days the commission has delayed the elections. Voting began last Saturday, but was abruptly stopped after voting materials were not delivered to many polling centers.

Independent National Electoral Commission Chairman Attahiru Jega said Thursday that the polls, scheduled for Saturday, will be postponed in about 15 percent of constituencies. Jega did not say when the newly-delayed polls will take place.

Summers also denies accusations that his organization “cooked” figures in its Nigeria poll that indicates President Jonathan will win the first round of the presidential vote.

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