12th March, 2011
The Nuhu Ribadu campaign organisation says it suspects that the reason given for the inability of Nigerians to see the vice presidential debateÂ live may be less than truthful.
The debate,Â organised by NN24, was not aired live allegedly because of satellite problems.
The campaign organisationâ€™s Director, Media and Communications, Ibrahim Modibbo, said they suspect the ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party, pressured the TV station not to air the programme, because their vice presidential candidate, Mohammed NamadiÂ Sambo, refused to attend.
â€œAll the major parties were invited and we all turned up, except forÂ PDPâ€™s,â€ Moddibbo said.
â€œThey wonâ€™t come because they canâ€™t defend their position to Nigerians andÂ donâ€™t even have a plan for moving forward. That is why , we suspect, they (PDP) put tremendous pressure on NN24 so much, that they couldnâ€™t air the live debate.
â€œIt is unfortunate that the ruling party is using state funds and institutions to intimidate the opposition and media organisations. What are they afraid of? Why wonâ€™t they come on air and tell Nigerians what they have to offer apart from good luck?â€
He further added that he would be disappointed in NN24 if his suspicion is ever confirmed.
He said journalism is for the fearless and no organisation should give in to financial or government pressure, no matter what.
â€œHowever, hope is not lost,â€ he continued.
â€œSince the opportunity of a live broadcast is lost, we demand that an unedited video of the debate be aired. We know that our Vice presidential candidate, Fola Adeola, outshone the others like a billion stars and it would be greatÂ injustice to deny Nigerians a chance to see their next VP in action. NN24 must correct their error by showing this debate.
“Nigerians must be allowed to make their choices based on antecedents, plans and strategy, not on sentiments or religious bigotry. They must see that we deserve far betterÂ than the poisoned chalice the PDP is offering them.â€