"Channels TV coalition chose the path of exclusion, and opted to muffle the voices of vibrant political parties and their candidates using a very opaque and alarmingly secretive system in a time when every Nigerian platform is learning to be more open, inclusive, accountable," @topefasua wrote.
Nigerians have taken to social media to express reservations over the selection of only five political parties in the vice-presidential and presidential debates scheduled for December 2018 and January 2019, respectively.
Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), had been excluded from the list of those selected to participate in the debate organised by the Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).
On Tuesday, Eddi Emesiri, NEDG Executive Secretary disclosed the participating candidates in the presidential debate as Oby Ezekwesili of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Fela Durotoye of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), Muhammadu Buhari of All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Kingsley Moghalu of Young Progressives Party (YPP). [story_link align="left"]65522[/story_link]
Since the announcement, Nigerians have taken to social media to express concern over the selection of candidates expected to participate in the debate. Nigerians are also demanding reasons Omoyele Sowore and other presidential candidates have been excluded from the debate.
Other candidates excluded from the debate are Tope Fasua of Abundant Renewal Nigeria Party, Fagbenro Bryon of Kowa Party, Ahmed Buhari of Sustainable National Party, Eunice Atuejide of National Interest Party, Yunusa Tanko of Nationalist Congress Party, among others.
In his reaction, @patrickomitoki wrote: "Uncle JD, it's important that all the aspirants should be invited for the debate because all the presidential candidates have equal rights and picking only a few shows inequality and unfairness."
@G_naike wrote: "AAC party was excluded from the signing, they don't also want him to participate in the Presidential debates. A whole presidential candidate? Claimed he's out of control and he'll spill what he knows.#SoworeMustBeincluded"
@segalink wrote: "They made a mistake with the listing. It would have been more interesting to have @YeleSowore included in this. There are five here and it could very well have been six. One will certainly be absent."
@EmhiseeMicheal posted: "Why will NEDG shortlist presidential aspirant debate to just five are the rest not relevant and if I may hear you clearly Sowore of AAC is not included. This is curious."
@topefasua wrote: "Channels TV coalition chose the path of exclusion, and opted to muffle the voices of vibrant political parties and their candidates using a very opaque and alarmingly secretive system in a time when every Nigerian platform is learning to be more open, inclusive, accountable."
@Folababs1 wrote: "With over 70 presidential candidates, 5 of them to a presidential debate isn't really the best we can do. It isn't that we expect the entire 70+ on the stage but 5 will completely not suffice! #Presidentialdebate"
@MayorBalogun wrote: "I am not rooting for @YeleSowore and @Donald_Duke, but it is very unfair not to include them in the Presidential debate. Let BON and the rest organizer(s) receive sense! Include these guys too!"
@DrealTve wrote: "All the candidate in that @channelstv Presidential debate are all @APCNigeria sponsored except @atiku. And that's why they don't want someone like @YeleSowore who's going to hit all of them hard. We say no to @CTVpolitics debate. #SoworeMustBeIncluded"
@sorjeh wrote: "It is such a shame that @channelstv will allow themselves be used to execute a total assassination of our democracy. So unpatriotic at this point we all should be about how we get better as a country. @topefasua of ANRP should be included in the presidential debate"
@Babatunde_Mac wrote: "Can BON tell us why other political parties are excluded from the presidential debate? We need to know; and this election is for every Nigeria. There should be free hearing as the 1999 constitution "as amended" has stipulated."
@Handruler posted: "We demand #SoworeMustBeIncluded in the presidential debate..."