The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has lauded Channels Television for the bold step in engendering robust issue-based debate for candidates fielded in the November 18, 2017 governorship election but expressed dismay over the apparent bias in the choice of participants.
Urging other media organizations to emulate the laudable initiative ahead of 2019, the CNPP advised the media to ensure it create a level playing field for candidates through unbiased coverage of elections as the survival of democracy in the country depends largely on their fair reportage.
This was contained in a statement signed by the CNPP Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu.
According to the umbrella body of all registered political parties and political associations in the country, “it was unfair for Channels Television to engage in secretive selection of the debate participants.
“The television station’s initiative is laudable and should be emulated by other media organizations in Nigeria but their good work was given a heavy blow by their refusal to make the process open to all.
“We advise the regulating authorities, including the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that candidates are not shortchanged in similar manner ahead of 2017.
“We therefore urge the National Assembly to take note of the lack of level playing field in reportage of elections in the country to reduce the level of money politics, which encourages corruption among political office holders.
“The lawmakers most address this issue squarely in the proposed electoral offences commission bill in order to engender and sustain sustain popular participation in electoral process by citizens who are not money bags”, the CNPP noted.