The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has explained why the organisation extended invitations to the four leading presidential candidates in the 2023 elections to its debate.
CDD had invited the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Gregory Onwubuasi Obi, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) to a town hall meeting it organised in collaboration with Arise Television.
The candidates of other fourteen parties were left out of the meeting which took place today, November 6 and aired on Arise TV and on its YouTube and social media channels.
Explaining why only four out of the fourteen parties received the invitation, CDD Director, Idayat Hassan, said in a statement that the organisation ran a survey on Twitter from October 4 to 10, asking citizens to vote on which four parties they wanted to hear from.
At the end of the survey, Peter Obi led the pack, while nine parties did not receive a vote at all.
Mr. Obi came first with 96.6 per cent, Tinubu followed with 86.2 per cent, Atiku came third with 82.8 per cent, and Kwankwaso finished fourth with 51.7 per cent.
Others are African Action Congress (AAC) – 20.7 per cent, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) – 6.9 per cent, Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) – 6.9 per cent, Social Democratic Party (SDP) – 6.9 per cent, and Young Progressive Party (YPP) – 13.8 per cent.
At the receipt of the result of the survey, CDD invited the highest four scoring parties – LP, APC, PDP and NNPP to the meet.
Hassan said: “This follows CDD’s constant campaign to ensure that the parties and candidates conduct issue-based campaigns.
“Nigerians need to hear how their future leaders plan to address the rising level of insecurity, considerable economic challenges and the impact of foreign affairs in domestic considerations.
“This has informed our engagements around the elections, from providing fact-checking support and working with partners to provide analyses on the election security terrain,” Hassan stated.
Justifying why the CDD invited only the four candidates, Hassan said the process for selecting the candidates were not without reasoning or a set methodology.
She stated: “To ensure ample time devoted to hearing each of the candidates, we ran a survey on Twitter from October 4 to 10, asking citizens to vote on which four parties they wanted to hear from.
“All 18 political parties were listed in alphabetical order. After the survey was closed, nine parties did not receive a vote.
“The remaining nine received the following percentage of votes- African Action Congress – 20.7 per cent, APC – 86.2 per cent, All Progressives Grand Alliance – 6.9 per cent, LP – 96.6 per cent, NNPP – 51.7 per cent, PDP– 82.8 per cent , Peoples Redemption Party – 6.9 per cent, Social Democratic Party – 6.9 per cent and Young Progressive Party – 13.8 per cent.
“The result of this survey informed our decision to invite the highest four scoring parties – LP, APC, PDP and NNPP to the town hall.
“The CDD is an independent and neutral institution and is non-partisan or linked to any political party or candidate. The methodology stated above was set before the survey was sent out to avoid any insinuation or claims of bias.
“We do not expect this to be the sole platform for candidates to engage with the electorate.”
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