Lagos and Umuahia — Presidential candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Eniola Ojajuni, has condemned the plan of the Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) to conduct debate for only five political parties ahead of next year's general election, describing it as undemocratic and a threat to credible polls.
NEDG and BON yesterday released the names of political parties that will be participating in the presidential debates.A statement signed by the executive secretary of NEDG, Eddi Emesiri, listed Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Young Progressives Party (YPP) as participants in the debate.
Ojajuni, while demanding that NEDG and BON publicly declare the criteria used for selecting the participants, said that the decision would limit the choice and decision of the electorate.
The AD candidate's Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Adesola Ikulajolu, stated yesterday: "It is unacceptable, ridiculous and undemocratic to allow some candidates to participate in the presidential debate, leaving others out."
The Ilaje-born politician also dissociated himself and his party from the adoption of Atiku Abubakar of PDP as consensus presidential candidate of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP).
Meanwhile, governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Abia State, Mrs. Blessing Nwagba, and her All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) counterpart, Alex Otti, yesterday announced their agenda to the electorate in Umuahia, the state capital.Nwagba, a second time member of the House of Assembly, promised "total transformation plan blueprint" built on three core pillars of economic revitalisation, infrastructural transformation and social development, to turn the state around.
She urged the electorate to give her a chance to create an enabling environment for small businesses to thrive and eliminate the use of touts, as well as build an effective, civilised method of ensuring that everyone contributes to the economy.
Otti, who described Abia as a failed state despite being an oil-producing state, promised to reduce the cost of governance, fight poverty and corruption as well as create economic prosperity, while projects would be people-oriented.
"Our political zones will be made economic zones while we address economic challenges towards enthroning fiscal federalism and prudent management of the state's resources," Otti said.
According to him, while billboard erection and propagandising are the major economic activities of the state government, night clubbing features within government circles.He warned those planning to rig the election, as they risk not living to see the result.