IPAC condemns proposed television debate for ‘only four aspirants’

Nigeria Broadcasting Commission

• Says unequal representation bad for election
• Urges NBC to intervene

The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has described a planned television debate for aspirants in the Anambra State governorship election as a breach of the nation’s electoral law.

At a news conference in Awka yesterday, IPAC urged the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to compel Channels TV to suspend the programme, alleging the selection of aspirants was unfair.

Chairman of IPAC, Chief Bartho Igwedibia, told journalists that the Council was made up of 37 registered political parties including the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He questioned why invitation for participation in the debate should have been sent to only four parties.

He stressed that IPAC was disturbed about the negative impact the development could have on the election.

Igwedibia argued that the programme would give undue advantage to the four candidates against 33 others who were equally certified for the election by INEC.

“We have seen a public announcement on Channels TV about the Anambra State governorship debate and the calls other parties are getting from within and outside the country is very worrisome.

“The action of the TV station is in total breach of the electoral law. The NBC should, as a matter of urgency, stop the station from going ahead with the debate, as well as withdraw its operating license. We see this debate is a sign of rigging. Why must it be these four candidates?”

Igwedibia said the idea that PDP, UPP, APC and APGA were the only political parties fielding candidates in the election was false.

He maintained that under IPAC, all political parties were equal before the law and must therefore be given equal opportunity.



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