Sahara Reporters Boss and the African Action Congress (AAC) and its presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, have kicked against the party’s exclusion from the presidential debate organised by the Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON).
Sowore revealed that he was excluded because they know he will expose what he knows about Buhari and other presidential candidates.
NEDG, in a statement released on Tuesday, announced that only the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Young Progressives Party (YPP) will participate in the debate.
Sowore wrote on his Facebook page, “First they excluded @aacparty from the signing of Peace Agreement & Memorandum of Understanding by Presidential Candidates & Party Chairmen in Abuja today, just emerged also they don’t want me to participate in the Presidential debates, they claimed I am out of control and may spill what I know about these oldies publicly during the debates. These old guards still don’t get it. #TakeItBack #Sowore2019 Victory is certain!”
AAC has also demanded to know why other parties were excluded and the criteria used for the selection of participants.
Director-General of the TakeItBack Movement/Sowore 2019 Campaign, Malcolm Fabiyi, in a statement issued on Tuesday said any debate that doesn’t include the party is a farce.
He said, “The AAC is one of the three largest parties in Nigeria. In fact, we were within the top three parties in the online poll that was organised by Channels TV to determine the participants in the presidential debates. We demand that the unaltered results of that poll be published.
“It is unconscionable that our candidates will be left out of the VP and Presidential debates when smaller political parties that fared worse in the polls, and do not have the reach or strength that our party commands across the country, were included.
“We also note that our presidential candidate has won every major independent and objective poll against the candidates from the alternative parties. Yet somehow, those parties made it to the debates while our candidates did not.
“We expect that this grave injustice will be rectified immediately, ahead of the VP debates on December 14. Nigerians must not be cheated out of a robust debate about our nation’s future. Nigeria must progress.”
The presidential debate will hold on January 19, 2019 while the vice-presidential debate is scheduled to take place on Friday, December 14, 2018 at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja by 7:00 pm.The debate will be transmitted live by all BON member stations and on various social media platforms.