Tony Osauzo, Benin
Verbal altercations between the Edo State chapters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) continued Monday with the APC carpeting the PDP for claiming that it (APC) sponsored a public opinion poll on the likely outcome of the September 19 governorship which has turned in its (PDP) favour.
Edo PDP Publicity Secretary Chris Nehikhare, addressing journalists in Benin City on Sunday, claimed that the APC commissioned the opinion poll, the result of which indicated that his party, the PDP, would the election in at least 16 of the 18 Local Government Areas of the state.
The APC has, however, dismissed the PDP’s claim, saying that the Punch Newspaper Online and Ripples Nigeria.com carried out the polls on their platforms, with the APC winning the poll.
Addressing journalists on the matter, the Chairman, APC Media Campaign Council, John Mayaki, said the party was too busy with its campaign to sponsor opinion polls.
‘To begin with, it is important to state that the irresponsible and false claim bandied by the PDP that the APC sponsored and lost an online poll is dismissed by two factual points: the first being that as a party, we, the All Progressives Congress, are too busy doing the groundwork of grassroots mobilization of voters across the 192 wards of the State and building on the existing support and love the people already have for the party, with the aim of attracting even more supporters on the strength of our manifesto – something the PDP lacks – to be involved in the petty tricks of staging or sponsoring such poll as alleged by this busy-body party,’ he said.
‘To be clear, we acknowledge the importance of weighing public opinion on issues, but we also know that such exercise must be carried out in a transparent process using credible mediums that are protected from the manipulation of desperate parties like the PDP who are on the frantic chase of any form of good news to breathe some life into their deflated and dull campaign. And this brings us to the second point.
‘If the PDP wants to be taken seriously, then they should provide undebatable evidence of our sponsorship of this said opinion poll. They should not only publish the contractors, or the organization contracted, but must also disclose the full details and result of the said poll conducted by APC and won by the PDP.
‘But we know that the PDP will come up empty because these things do not exist and the allegation is only the product of their crooked minds.
‘On the other hand, from our own independent investigations, what has emerged is the fact that some media platforms including The PUNCH newspaper, and Ripples Nigeria conducted polls on their respective digital platforms where reality was once again reflected as our candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, emerged with the lead votes, and our party was vindicated by the people as non-violent in its approach.
‘Therefore, this latest noise by the PDP, one can understand, is an act of propaganda aimed at confusing the emerging demeaning narrative of a party losing in reality and in the polls and as a result, are suffering early trauma and having ghoulish nightmares.
‘Unlike them who allege without a shred of proof or evidence, we will be displaying the live results of these online polls and their host platforms, all of whom are independent media establishments with no link to the All Progressives Congress.
‘Finally, our advice to the people and media is to disregard these false claims made by the PDP. More importantly, we would also love to add the warning that the media must be wary in how it receives and publish information from the PDP as the irresponsible party is expected to concoct more falsehood as the day of their final defeat draws nearer.
‘If the PDP has any dignity and integrity left, it will immediately withdraw the false and misleading claim and tender an apology to the APC. But as we already know that words like integrity and dignity cannot be used in the same realm as the PDP, we will not hold our breath for their apology but instead continue with our issue-based campaign,’ the APC said.