A civil society group, Democracy Monitor Group (DMG), has condemned the composition of the governorship debate panel held on Sunday in Akure, Ondo State.
It described the public debate among governorship candidates as a censorship programme, which lacks acceptability by the public.
In a statement signed by its Chairman, Murphy Alade, and Secretary, Elizabeth Adio, the group said the debate panel was dominated by media organisations controlled by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu-led administration and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
“Ordinarily, we had taken exception to the composition of the debate panel, which comprised people from the state government owned Ondo State Radiovision Corporation (OSRC), the Federal Government-owned Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) and the Ogun State Government owned Ogun State Television Station (OGTV).
The reason being that there was no way the incumbent governor who is from the APC would not have had a foreknowledge of the questions to be asked by the debate moderator. However, despite a clear indication of censorship in the affairs of the debate organisers, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, was able to excite listeners with his robust programmes of action. This can thus be classified as the triumph of true democracy over censorship programming, “ the group said.
It commended what it called the PDP candidate’s “innocent and sincere narration of how his campaign team and other PDP members were being subjected to incessant attacks by political thugs. Long before Jegede came out to give graphic detail on these unprovoked attacks, we had got video evidence of how the PDP vehicles were vandalised by the ruling APC and how the latter also hacked down many PDP members”.