The African Action Congress (AAC), the political party of presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore, has fingered the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the ongoing plot to exclude its candidate from the presidential debate organised by the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON).

According to the party, the United Party of Nigeria (UPN), which is a member of the APC-led Coalition of Progressives Political Parties (CPPP), is set to file a motion at the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja seeking to be joined as a party in the Sowore suit.

AAC said the aim of UPN’s suit is to throw impediments in the way of a timely ruling on the case, so that there will be no resolution before January 19, when the debate will hold.

“The African Action Congress and the Sowore 2019 Campaign has been notified of a plot to use frivolous law suits as a salt tactic to prevent a timely ruling on the case instituted by our party for the inclusion of Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate of the party, in the January 19th NEDG/BON 2019 debate,” read a statement released on Thursday by Dr Malcolm Fabiyi, Director-General of the Sowore 2019 Campaign.

“We have made it clear to Nigerians that we believe that our party’s exclusion from that debate was orchestrated by the ruling party. Now, in a fit of desperation, the masquerades have been forced to take off their masks. 

“We have it on good authority that the UPN, a member of the APC led Coalition of Progressives Political Parties (CPPP), will file a motion at the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja seeking to be joined as a party in the suit which was filed in December 2018 by the National Legal Adviser of the AAC, Inibehe Effiong.

“UPN will, in its motion, ask that its presidential candidate, one Alhaji Ahmed Sakil, also be allowed to participate in the January 19, 2019 presidential debate organised by the NEDG and BON. 

“Nigerians will recall that the CPPP openly declared support for the re-election of Buhari after a meeting at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja in July 2018. How then can a candidate from one of the coalition partners of the CPPP be filing a suit to be included in a debate which their adopted candidate, President Buhari, will be participating in? 

"Concerned by the obvious progress that our case is making in the judicial system, the APC/CPPP coalition is now resorting to desperate measures in their attempt to prevent the most authentic voice for the New Nigeria that we are all yearning for, to be a part of the debate about its future. The legal strategy that the APC-CPPP-UPN team is banking on is one of delay. The goal, as we have reliably learned is to throw impediments in the way of a timely ruling on the case, so that there will be no resolution before January 19th, when the debate will hold.”

Fabiyi asked Nigerians to ask themselves the following questions: Why would UPN, a political party that has publicly endorsed the ruling APC, suddenly seek to be joined as a party in the case just few days to the debate? Why did the UPN not file its own case to demand inclusion in the debate but had to wait till a few days to the presidential election debate before seeking to be joined in the AAC's case?

“They are afraid. But what is the APC afraid of? Why is there such an obvious fear of allowing the participation of Omoyele Sowore in the presidential debate? What does the ruling establishment have to hide? We know they do not want us to reveal to Nigerians that the Next Level that they are seeking, is a worse level of depravity, ineptitude, nepotism and corruption,” he added.

“They are afraid that what they tell themselves behind closed doors, as Nigerians learned from the revealing confessions that Amaechi made about Buhari and the APC’s views about Nigeria, will be openly exposed to the Nigerian people, on prime time TV.

“Our concerns are being validated and confirmed. Our party’s selection as only one of four political parties in Nigeria selected for the MacArthur Foundation sponsored Town Hall series is further evidence that the NEDG and BON working in concert with others rigged the AAC out of the debate. The MacArthur foundation is one of the most respected organizations in the world. Their selection process mirrored in many parts the process that NEDG and BON claimed to follow, yet the outcomes were different. We reiterate that even the process that the NEDG, BON and Channels TV used returned the AAC as one of the top three parties in Nigeria. To those who seek to exclude us we say: truth can never be silenced. We will prevail!!”

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