The presidential candidate of Accord Party, Rev. Isaac Babatunde Ositelu, has described as selective, undemocratic, biased, subjective and unabashedly discriminative the decision of the National Election Debate Group to handpick only five out of the 98 presidential candidates in the 2019 election for debate.
While calling out the organisers of the debate on the discriminative selection of presidential candidates for the debate, he said all the candidates ought to have been given open access to the process of ventilating their plans to the electorate.
Ositelu said by denying other candidates the opportunity to present their manifestoes to the Nigerian populace, the NEDG has unwittingly denied them equal opportunity to compete fairly for votes in the coming electoral process.
He said as the Accord Party presidential candidate, he ought to have been accorded a dignified recognition in the debate given that the party, with over 11 years of participation in the electoral processes in Nigeria, has spread and membership bases across the 36 states and the Federal capital Territory.
Besides, he said that Accord Party had previously produced members of the National and State Assemblies and that if such success tractions were the consideration for rating, it deserved better recognition by the NEDG.
Ositelu noted as well that Accord Party is one of the very few parties that could boast of feeding candidates for states and national election in the 2019 general elections.
Ositelu called on the presidential debate organisers to immediately correct the obvious bias against the interest of Accord Party.
He said the right to debate in the electoral process should be an inalienable privilege for all the candidates, adding that anything to the contrary would present NEDG as having established prejudices against the likes of Accord Party and would call to question the integrity of the debate organisers.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had announced that 91 political parties have scaled the hurdle to participate in the 2019 general elections.
And in the continuation of the processes of proper voter education and enlightenment so that the electorates can make informed choices among the array of presidential candidates, the NEDG has organised debates for the presidential and vice presidential candidates of parties in the 2019 general elections.
Ositelu said that by giving preference to only five political parties to participate in the debate, the organisers of the presidential debate have demonstrated partiality.
According to him, the NEDG ought to have protected the interest of all the political parties by demonstrating neutrality in the access to the platform which offers the Nigerian electorates the opportunity to assess the different candidates and their political parties heading into the 2019 elections.
It would be recalled that Ositelu is one of the presidential candidates that has now signed the national peace treaty for the 2019 general elections in Abuja.
The National Peace Committee comprising of eminent Nigerians is headed by former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and Bishop Hassan Kukah among others.
The National Peace Committee said that the peace treaty was meant to curb violence and use of hate speeches in the campaigns.
The Memorandum of Understanding is expected to encourage all gladiators in the general elections to play by the rules, eschew violence and accept the results of the general elections in good faith while using constitutionally laid down instrument to seek redress.
Promising to lift the nation out of economic doldrums, Ositelu said the immediate priority of his government would be to tackle food security, ensure uninterrupted power supply in the country through innovative use of motorised mini-grids.
According to him, the mobile mini-grid can be easily deployed to areas of economic and industrial establishment as a stop gap process for building a robust discrete electricity networks across Nigeria.
He assured that the Accord Party controlled national government would also pay significant attention to the provision of road infrastructure, particularly to the rural communities.
He said the development of road infrastructure in the rural communities would hasten the engine of growth of prosperity for the Nigerian people.