The national leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Wednesday, disowned the opinion poll on its presidential candidates, which was posted on its website, saying it did not authorise it.
The party, which reacted to the media reports on the controversial poll for the first time in the last three days, said it is illogical for it to dabble into the exercise when the national convention is a few days away.
Many media houses on Tuesday carried a report on the result of the poll on the party's website, which put former vice president, Atiku Abubakar in the lead in the presidential contention over President Goodluck Jonathan.The poll result was removed from the website a few hours after it was reported in the media. An older version of the poll showed Mr Jonathan in the lead.
"Our attention has been drawn to controversies about the opinion polls on political aspirants that was posted on our official website ,we wish to clarify that the poll was not authorised by the leadership of the party as it is illogical to dabble in such when the real contest at the National Convention is just a few days away," a statement by the PDP spokesman, Ahmed Rufa'i Alkali said.
The party rejected any link to such a gimmick which could smear the party's neutrality, fairness and transparency in the planning,organisation and conduct of the primaries and national convention.
The party further explained that its findings revealed that the poll was posted by a member of staff out of his curiosity to follow traffic in website hosting." Slated poll
Meanwhile, a pressure group, the Forum for Accuracy in Digital Democracy (FADD) has advised the media to ascertain the authenticity of any poll or internet -based survey being flaunted by politicians to buttress their position.
The coordinator of the group, Elias Johnson, in apparent response to the poll report, said journalists must defend their trade by not "turning newspapers to broadsheets of lies.''
Mr Johnson said the poll is anything but scientific, the reportage of the said poll was slanted to give the impression that the poll was for delegates of the PDP primaries, whereas it was one where anybody from anywhere in the world could click and vote.
"The first logical question to ask will be, who is allowed to vote? If the voting is not restricted to registered users, or people who will have been pre-verified by age, location, email activation, political affiliation, and other means of identifications, it cannot and should not be taken serious," he said. "The result of such an exercise can only be a joke. Perhaps over 80% of the total votes were cast by only one person."