How We Chose Participating Parties For Presidential Debate – NEDG

How We Chose Participating Parties For Presidential Debate – NEDG

 

The Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) has explained how five political parties were selected to participate in the presidential and vice-presidential debates.

NEDG Executive Secretary, Eddie Emesiri, said in a statement on Thursday that the parties for the debate were picked through an independently administered multi-stage process.

The statement was issued in reaction to the criticism triggered by the number of political parties selected by the group and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), organisers of the debates.

Emesiri stressed that the decision to select five parties was taken at the beginning of the process to ensure that the debates were managed effectively.

He said, “We wish to emphatically state that the NEDG and BON were not influenced or induced by anyone to include or exclude any political party from the debate.”

“We understand the disappointment of some political parties who would have wished to see their candidates share their visions for the country at the Debates.”

Read the full statement below;

Further to our earlier announcement of participating parties for the Presidential Debates, the organising partners of the Debates hereby reiterate the transparency and independence of the selection process that resulted in the five participating political parties.

Firstly, we would like to state that the Presidential Debates are organised by a partnership of the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), a broad coalition of over 100 public and private broadcasters in Nigeria with coverage of terrestrial radio, television, direct-to-home, digital terrestrial television and multimedia distribution system. The members of BON are responsible for over 250 radio and TV stations across Nigeria.

The choice of participating parties for the debate was made through an independently administered multi-stage process. The first stage was an independent online poll and the second involved the distribution of survey questionnaires per state, to professionals, artisans, students, etc; respondents were within the voting age and spread across urban, semi-urban and rural classifications. The third stage was to take an aggregate of the stage result and extend invitations to the top 5 parties for the debate.

Following our disclosure of the participating parties earlier in the week, our attention has been drawn to some reactions in the public space over the decision to limit the participation to five parties and exclusion of some party flag bearers from the debate. Considering the vast number of contending parties, the decision to limit to five parties was taken at the beginning of our process to ensure ease of management for the debates. All the stages of the selection process were focused on political parties, taking into consideration the importance of national spread and diversity. Focus was not on specific individuals or candidates.

We wish to emphatically state that the NEDG and BON were not influenced or induced by anyone to include or exclude any political party from the debate. We understand the disappointment of some political parties who would have wished to see their candidates share their visions for the country at the Debates. However, Nigerians have spoken through the multi-stage process and we urge all Nigerians to respect their choice as we abide by the outcome of the independent party selection process.

The Vice-Presidential Debate and the Presidential Debate are scheduled for Friday, December 14, 2018, and Saturday, January 19, 2019, respectively.

Eddie Emesiri
Executive Secretary
Nigeria Election Debate Group
Dateline: Abuja, December 12, 2018

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.