Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has protested the exclusion of its candidate in last Friday’s political debate organised by the Nigeria Election Debate Group(NEDG) and Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON).
In a statement issued by the National Director of Publicity, Ifeanacho Oguejiofor, APGA said there was no reason for not including APGA candidates in the debate since the party is the third largest political party in the country, with a serving governor and numerous members in the state and national legislative assemblies.
The party said: “It is important to draw the attention of millions of our members and supporters across the country to the facts behind the exclusion of our presidential/vice presidential candidates from the debates
“In the first place, it was purely a private sector initiative powered by both organisers. That not withstanding, APGA made a very strong representation to the organisers when it learned of the exclusion early on Monday. In response, the organisers drew our attention to the fact that the choice of presidential and vice presidential candidates to appear for the debate was done by voters on the social media platform, which it thoroughly supervised.
“The organisers also drew our attention to other laid down procedures as designed by them, which were meticulously followed,” it said.
APGA said that following its unyielding stance on the matter, the organisers have promised to look into the matter dispassionately with a view to accommodating it in the next round of debates holding on January 19, 2019.
“We urge our members to remain calm as everything humanly possible is being done to correct the obvious anomaly.
“We wish to reiterate the fact that APGA is in the 2019 presidential race to win and, therefore, will not tolerate any acts targeted at sabotaging its efforts as this would be stoutly resisted,” it said.
The party assured members that retired General John Gbor and his running mate, Chief Jerry Chukwueke, represent a formidable team with a clear-cut plan to take Nigeria to the next level of development based on equity, social justice and good governance.
“The party advised NEDG/BON not to do anything that could tarnish their reputation but ensure that justice is done to those that deserve it,” it said.