The flag bearer of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) in the November 18 Anambra State governorship election, Comrade Akunwata Ejoh Ojiba, has strongly condemned what he described as “the biased and clandestine criteria used in selecting the participants” in the governorship debate organized by Channels Television.
In a statement personally signed by him, the governorship hopeful noted that the media outfit “only succeeded in showcasing Anambra State’s worst candidates to the world without any form of research on the strength of each of the 37 political parties that fielded candidates for the next Saturday’s polls.”
He noted that “there have been no fewer than four governorship debates in Anambra state, which were boycotted by most the participants in the Channels Television debate. How then did the media house arrive at their choice of participants?
“In the future, all media organizations in the country should be at the top of their informing, educating and agenda-setting game to avoid the obvious pitfalls in the biased approach adopted by Channels Television to demean reputable and distinguish individuals that have put themselves forward to the people of the state to be elected by them based on their manifesto and track records of service.
“It on record that Anambra State has made history as the first state with as high as 36 candidates contesting governorship seat against an incumbent governor in any state in the country.
“But instead of promoting such unprecedented array of choices for the deepening of democracy, Channels Television unwisely opted to trample upon it and ended up bringing shame and reproach to Anambra people by showcasing their worst as the top five among 37 candidates.
While urging his supporters across the state “to ignore the elites-induced governorship debate”, he maintained that “the ACPN and myself strongly condemned this unprecedented open exhibition of biases by Channels Television and their planned imposition of a candidate on Anambra people through the back doors.
“But for my party’s door-to-door and person-to-person campaign strategy, the television outfit would have succeeded in rigging the Anambra governorship election in favour of money bags.
“The move by Channels Television to institutionalize godfatherism and money politics in Anambra State must be condemned by all lovers of democracy and good governance”, Comrade Ojiba stated.