The Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG), organisers of the presidential debate in collaboration with the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, has revealed that it selected five candidates were selected based on “character, conduct and other things of the candidates".

Eddi Emesiri, Executive Secetary of the NEDG, made the revelation during a telephone conversation with one Issac Obasi, a Lagos-based human rights activist, about why some candidates were excluded from the debate.

In the four-minute 53-second conversation between the duo, when queried on the narrow selection of candidates especially to the detriment of more popular candidates, Emesiri said: “Popular where? We did research from September to November this year in the six zones of the federation. We did vox pop; we did social media and also voting, and then we also have character conduct and other things that we are looking at. So, we matched this and this and this and we arrived at this conclusive report."

Queried further as to why the result of the research purportedly conducted was not made public, Emesiri said: “We based our research on the whole of the country. Please, we are taking a totality of the reports we got from across the country. Everybody has his area. This is the 13th call I’ve received today."

Interrupting, Issac Obasi said: “Oh you see, people are calling because they want to find out."

Responding, the Executive Secetary said: “That is why I am taking my time to explain to you. We had to put all the information together and that is why we said if we had to select, we will select only five."

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