The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it will not be featuring in the ongoing electioneering public debates on national television and radio being organised by the Broadcast Organisations of Nigeria (BON), because of the unhidden bias and campaign of calumny by some key organisers of the programme against the corporate political interest of the APC and its candidates.

However, the organizers have made it clear that every participant will be exposed to the same set of questions that will give them enunciate their positions.

The Director, Media and Publicity, of the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPCO), Garba Shehu, said in a press statement on Thursday in Abuja that the Nigeria Election Debate Group (NEDG)-powered debate was fraught with fundamental errors from the outset, by wearing the toga of government control, especially being composed mainly of agencies and allies of the incumbent People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) administration.

“A salutary inspection of the composition of NEGD brings into focus the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), National Television Authority (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and the Africa Independent Television (AIT, owned by a PDP chieftain). And going by the avalanche of inflammatory statements, misinformation and blatant lies being propagated by some of these media against our Party and candidates contrary to the Koffi Annan brokered Abuja Peace Accord, and the failure of these aggressors to desist and apologise, the APC Campaign is left with no option than to steer clear of any premeditated smear campaign that could be inimical to our prospective electoral success,” Shehu said.

The APCPCO spokesman further explained that the boycott by the APC should not be seen as disrespect to Nigerian voters, or an alibi for the party to dodge public scrutiny; but it must be viewed as an honourable right not to consent to any activity that could distract, demean, denigrate or derail the fast-moving train of the party.

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