APC To Boycott TV Debates

DebatesThe All Progressives Congress, APC, has said that its presidential candidate, General Mohammadu Buhari, would not be participating in the electioneering public debates on national television and radio, being organised by state owned institutions and media organisations.

The Buhari Campaign Organisation made the declaration on Thursday in a press release.

The party stated that its reason for wanting to boycott such debates is that the set up is fraught with fundamental errors from the outset.

The Buhari Campaign Director of Media, Garba Shehu, in the statement, said that the organizers were wearing the toga of government control, especially being composed mainly of agencies and allies of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

He said that General Buhari would exempt himself from such debates being organised by broadcast stations that have denigrated and maligned his person and that of his family.Debates

“A cursory inspection of the composition of NEGD brings into focus the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), National Television Authority (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and the Africa Independent Television (AIT, owned by a PDP chieftain).

“The avalanche of inflammatory statements, misinformation and blatant lies being propagated by some of these media against our Party and candidates, contrary to the Kofi Annan brokered Abuja Peace Accord, and the failure of these aggressors to desist and apologise, have left the APC Campaign with no option than to steer clear of any premeditated smear campaign that could be inimical to our prospective electoral success,” Shehu said.

However, the party said that General Buhari had been preparing for debates and would be willing to participate when the organisations involved are considered to be neutral.

Group Renews Call For Sovereign National Conference

The Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) on Friday endorsed the manifesto of the newly formed All People’s Congress (APC).

However the group noted that “what this nation needs is a fundamental political reform that will overhaul the present bloated governance structure. And we believe such fundamental reform can only come about through an instrument of a Sovereign National Conference”.

The group also expressed happiness that the party will decentralize the police and will “initiate action to amend our constitution with a view to devolving powers, duties and responsibilities to states and local governments in order to entrench Federalism and the Federal Spirit.”

The group made their views known in a statement signed by the group’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Kunle Famoriyo.

The statement further alleged that “Our country is over-governed! In 2013 budget, the presidency alone has an allocation of N35.7bn while Office of Secretary to Government of the Federation got N70.4bn. 

We have more than 30 federal ministers, 469 federal legislators, 36 state governors, 774 local government chairmen and thousands of state legislators and councillors. All these political office holders have retinue of special assistants, advisers, and consultants. The present cost of governance is unsustainable and in fact, anti-democratic”.

The group believes that “moving towards lean governments, which is why we believe local governments should not be a federating tier of government. We also believe that many of our 36 states are weak and unviable.

Therefore political reform is needed to allow for willing federating states to merge in a way that will allow for fiscal federalism”.

“The leaner the government, the more transparent it becomes, and the less we would have to fund anti-corruption initiatives”.

The group also charged the APC to “go a step further by saving the country completely from present and future trouble by incorporating comprehensive principles of federalism in its cardinal policies”.