The presidential candidate of Accord Party, Rev. Isaac Babatunde Ositelu, has described as selective, undemocratic, bias, subjective and unabashedly discriminative the decision of the National Election Debate Group (NEDG) to handpick only five out of the 98 presidential candidates in the 2019 presidential election for the presidential debate.
While calling out the organisers of the debate on the discriminative selection of presidential candidates for the debate, he said that all the candidates ought to have been given open access to the process of ventilating their plans to the electorate.
He said by denying the other candidates the opportunity to present their manifestoes to the Nigerian populace, the NEDG has unwittingly denied other candidates equal opportunity to compete fairly for votes in the coming electoral process.
He said the Accord Party’s presidential candidate ought to have been accorded a dignified recognition in the debate given that Accord Party with over eleven years of participation in the electoral processes in Nigeria has spread and membership bases across the 36 states and the Federal capital Territory (FCT).
Besides, he said that the Accord Party had previously produced members of the National and State Assemblies and that if such success tractions were the consideration for rating, the Accord Party deserved better recognition by the NEDG. He noted as well that Accord Party is one of the very few parties that could boast of feeding candidates for states and national election in the 2019 general elections.
Ositelu called on the presidential debate organisers to immediately correct the obvious bias against the interest of Accord Party and its Presidential candidate. He said that the right to debate in the electoral process should be an inalienable privilege for all the candidates. But that anything to the contrary would present NEDG as having established prejudices against the likes of Accord Party and would call to question the integrity of the debate organisers.
According to him, the NEDG ought to have protected the interest of all the political parties by demonstrating neutrality in the access to the platform which offers the Nigeria electorates the opportunity to assess the different candidates and their political parties heading into the 2019 elections.