Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 26 December 2018 | 1,115 times
The Action Democratic Party (ADP) has expressed shock and disappointment over the exclusion of its vice presidential candidate and several other political parties’ candidates from the Vice Presidential Debate held recently in Abuja and the Presidential Debate scheduled for January 19, 2019, in Abuja. The debates are being organised by the Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).
The party in a statement by its National Chairman and Presidential candidate, Yusuf Yabagi Sani, said: “We are disturbed that out of about 72 political parties and their vice presidential and presidential candidates, who are unarguably qualified for the debates, the NEDG and BON could only select five parties to participate in the Vice Presidential Debate and are poised to feature only the five parties for the Presidential debate.
“The situation is not helped by the lame excuse of funding constraints given by the organisers for the exclusion of other parties even when it is obvious they failed to make wide consultation.”
The statement added that “it is an incontrovertible fact that the ADP is one of the largest political parties in the country, and therefore deserved to be part of the debates irrespective of the procedure or criteria the organisers may have used to draw up the political parties included in the debates.
“It is therefore our position that the ADP with wide structures nationwide and featuring credible candidates for elective positions in virtually all the states of the federation with its numerous and growing membership has every qualification required to participate in the debates.
“We in ADP are convinced that the organisers erred in their criteria of selecting only five parties for the debates as that has easily given them away as toeing the line of favouritism and working for some parties against the others. Nigerians have already expressed their disappointments over this error by NEDG and BON, and are watching anxiously.”
ADP urged the organisers to have a dispassionate look into the matter with a view to accommodating the ADP and other parties in the Presidential Debate of January 2019.
“Any attempt to proceed with the Presidential debate without the ADP and other parties will strengthen the insinuation that the NEDG and BON are just making a mockery of democracy, which could impugn their credibility and integrity,” the party added.
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