December 5, 2022

The presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, ACC, Omoyele Sowore, has again, decried the discrimination in the mode of selection of candidates for electoral debates by concerned organizers.

The activist also vowed to stop all forms of debates for presidential candidates being organised by the Nigeria Election Debate Group, for excluding many candidates from participating in the debates.

Recall that the electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has registered 18 candidates to participate in the 2023 presidential election.

Hence, the AAC presidential candidate have regretted the unfairness of the debate organizers via a tweet on Tuesday

“It has come to our attention that the Nigeria Election Debate Group @officialnedg has excluded us from the series of Presidential Debates to herald the 2023 election, as typical they’ve settled for failed and clueless candidates. We will ensure these fraudulent debates are stopped!”

Sowore was reacting based on his alleged bias exclusion from the just concluded Sunday night presidential Town Hall Meeting organised by Arise Television and a group, Centre for Democracy and Development, in which him (Sowore) and many other presidential candidates were excluded.

IsL had earlier reported that only Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) were invited.

The debate organisers had said that the four candidates were selected based on the performance of their parties in an online survey done during which all the 18 political parties were listed in alphabetical order.

“The result of this survey informed our decision to invite the highest four scoring parties – LP, APC, PDP and NNPP to the town hall,” the Director of the CDD, Idayat Hassan had said in a statement.

“All 18 political parties were listed in alphabetical order. After the survey was closed, nine parties did not receive a vote.

“The remaining nine received the following percentage of votes- African Action Congress – 20.7 per cent, APC – 86.2 per cent, All Progressives Grand Alliance – 6.9 per cent, LP – 96.6 per cent, NNPP – 51.7 per cent, PDP– 82.8 per cent, Peoples Redemption Party – 6.9 per cent, Social Democratic Party – 6.9 per cent and Young Progressive Party – 13.8 per cent.”

Condemning the action of the organisers, an activist, Baba Aye said, “In a @PremiumTimesng article @HassanIdayat said @CDDWestAfrica picked 4 of the 18 presidential candidates for a town hall meeting it’s organizing with @ARISEtv based on ranking via a Twitter survey. The 5th (with 20.7%) was @YeleSowore whilst Kola Abiola of the “PRP” had 6.9%.

“APGA & SDP also ranked 6.9% i.e., bhd @aacparty & even YPP. But Kola has been made a replacement for @OfficialAPCNg. This is indefensible. CSOs like @CDDWestAfrica that are supposed to be credible, should not follow such pathways of questionable bias, to say the least.”

Responding to the tweet, Sowore described the action as a conspiracy by the organisers to ensure that the best candidate wasn’t given an opportunity to talk to Nigerians.

“It is a conspiracy to ensure the best is not given an opportunity to be at these prime events, they want to keep recycling the same old failed politicians! @CDDWestAfrica @ARISEtv are acting the same script of 2019 to exclude our party. Now @officialABAT @Atiku bailed!” he said.

The exclusion of other presidential candidates of other political parties has generated outrage from the excluded candidates and their supporters.

Recall that IsL had earlier reported that Sowore’s reaction to his exclusion was that the decision of the debate organisers was deliberate, insisting that the organisers conspired to ensure that the best candidate wasn’t given an opportunity to talk to Nigerians.

“It is a conspiracy to ensure the best is not given an opportunity to be at these prime events, they want to keep recycling the same old failed politicians! @CDDWestAfrica @ARISEtv are acting the same script of 2019 to exclude our party. Now @officialABAT @Atiku bailed!” Sowore said.

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