The Nigeria Election Debate Group (NEDG), yesterday, debunked rumours that it had leaked election debate questions to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan.
NEDG Chairman, Shola Omole made the declaration during a press conference on the preparation of the Presidential Debates organised by the NEDG, in Abuja.
According Omole, who is also the Director General of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), 13 political parties had indicated interest to take part in the debate.
He stressed that NEDG is an apolitical group that was made up of the media and people of impeccable characters from the society, therefore, it had no interest on who wins the forthcoming presidential election.
“As of right now I can say that 13 political parties have confirmed that they will attend the debate. We are still working on it and we still have a few days to go before the debate.
Vice Presidential and Presidential debates have been fixed for February 1 and February 8, 2015 respectively.
“I will like to state that the NEDG is not a partisan organization but a collection of media people, civil society organizations, professional associations who have an interest in ensuring that Nigerians have better adequate and relevant information to enhance their ability to be able to take a decision on voting day.
“As we speak, the questions that are going to be asked on the date of the debate are still being worked upon by our debate committee. Those questions are not ready; as I am speaking to you, the questions are not yet ready; there is still work in progress. Therefore, there is absolutely no reason why anybody will have the questions right now.”
Also speaking on the upcoming debate, the Media Consultant to the NEDG, Taiwo Allimi disclosed that more than 3,000 questions had been submitted to the group from Nigerians.
Explaining the rules that will guide the debate, Alimi said that the platform would not give any score card, and that, “there will be non-participatory audience; the audience is not to clap, yell or laugh during the entire debate.
“It is on the date of the debate, when the debate is about to go on air that we (the NEDG) will now give the moderators and the panelists the questions they will be asking the candidates.”