Following the controversies surrounding the recent public release of the Public Opinion Polls conducted on behalf of the Nigerian ThisDay newspaper by the trio of Ipsos Nigeria, Ipsos MORI (UK) and Ipsos Markinor (South Africa), we have been attempting to reach the officers of these institutions to elicit further clarity or ascertain the degree of their individual and collective involvement in the conduct of the polls and the subsequent tabulation and release of the polls results.
It is our considered opinion that any exercise or initiative that brings Nigeria and Nigerian politics closer to the modern and civilised era is a welcome development for our country and we would very much like to see those efforts succeed, as well as be transparent, reliable and trustworthy.
WeBeNaija has NOT formed any opinion on the subject, and have, therefore, not taken any side in the controversies to date. Simply put, we have been, so far, unable to make an informed decision because the requisite data to make one has been absent in the public space.
In our quest to be adequately informed, we have been trying to reach out (privately) to the officers of the organisations that ostensibly provided the technical expertise for the conduct of the polls, and our efforts have been fruitless to date. As a result, we are impelled to now publicly address the main head of the sub-Sahara Africa Ipsos (Mr. David Somers), and make the same request that we have been submitting to him privately, on the off-chance that he will feel compelled to answer in public that which he has refused to answer in private.
The following is the unedited copy of the email we have repeatedly sent to the CEO of Ipsos in sub-Sahara Africa. We are hopeful that he (or others associated with him and his organisation) will consider it not too undiginifying to respond to our humble requests.
Dear Mr. Somers,
We are a group of interested Nigerians writers and professionals who strive to present unbiased commentaries on any and all topical issues relating to the Nigerian Political, Technological and Socio-economical welfare.
We have been following developments in the recent Public Opinion Poll that your firm allegedly conducted on behalf of the "ThisDay" Newspaper of Nigeria. Given the controversies that have since been engendered by the release of the results of the said polls, and given our belief that IPSOS is a trustworthy polling firm whose transparency and objectivity are of paramount importance to its very existence across the globe, we would like to make the following requests:
- Public release of the entire raw data of the entire polls - we are sure that you will agree with us that this is a standard practice, especially when the reliability of a given poll is called into question, as is the case in the ThisDay/Ipsos poll under discussion here.
- Public release of the detailed cross-tabs on sub-population of the poll.
- Public release of a clear and detailed description of the polling technique utilised throughout the polling period. If techniques differ at any point during the entire exercise or among any sub-set of the sample, please state the variance where applicable.
- Any other pertinent data and information that could help remove any doubt as to the validity, soundness, transparency and objectivity of the poll in question.
We sincerely hope that you will not consider the above as an undue imposition on your organisation. We are confident that you will agree with us that you are duty-bound to stand behind your polls by making public the pertinent information and data that could be examined and evaluated by independent observers and citizens within the community impacted by the polls you conduct. We hope that you will agree with us that it is in your organisation's best interest to continue to maintain your corporate and public credibility and objectivity and that the public release of the information requested above will serve those interests, while at the same time helping remove the controversies that is now raging in the country over the release of this poll.
We thank you for your time, and hope to hear from you at your earliest convenience.