We would like to advise the main opposition party APC not to be deceived into participating in the sham debates being planned by the dubious Nigerian Election Debate Group (NEDG) being promoted by Mr. Sola Omole and some other pro-Jonathan individuals from Africa Independent Television, AIT.
Given its current composition, which includes Mr. Mike Omeri, the supposedly non-partisan director of the Nigerian Orientation Agency and the National Information Centre and people like Sally Mbanefo, the NEDG cannot organise a credible debate. Its principal promoters are from NTA and AIT, two electronic media organisations that have made no secret of their unalloyed support for President Jonathan. While the NTA is a quango that squanders billions of federal government dollars on producing mind-numbing garbage, the AIT is run by a group of shameless and biased pro-Jonathan politicians who offer little or no coverage to the activities of other political parties.
During the last presidential elections in 2011, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, a serial bankrupt businessman and politician, was the media director of General Ibrahim Babangida’s failed campaign to clinch the PDP’s nomination. When asked why he had chosen to oppose the candidature of President Goodluck Jonathan, a Southerner who hails from his region, Chief Dokpesi said that the president had refused to approve the payment of billions of naira owed by the party to his company. Chief Dokpesi’s driving force is filthy lucre. In 2007, he pocketed billions from the murderous Peter Odili in order to promote his presidential bid which ultimately failed. He is now back on this familiar terrain, as his television station is now a campaign vehicle for PDP candidates especially the corrupt Nyesom Wike.
In the case of Mr Omole, we cannot reasonably expect a political appointee to organised a fair debate that could result in an electoral loss for his employer. It’s important that the APC does not get ensnared by these sharks who are all closet supporters of the PDP.
In 2011, one such election debate group claimed that it would organise a fair debate only to provide the questions to Mrs. Kassey Garba, the president’s chief economic adviser who forwarded them to ministers for ANSWERS. This scenario is surely going to repeat itself and the opposition should be wise and avoid a debate which is being organized by a group of people that have no interests in providing a level playing field.
We should not forget the infamous poll commissioned by Nduka Obaigbena’sThis Day which tried to use IPSO’s imprimatur to hoodwink Nigerians.