TMG Distances Self From Presidential Debates, Accuses NEDG Of Fraud

FROM LEFT: PROJECT MANAGER, TRANSITION MONITORING GROUP (TMG), MR LAZARUS APIR, TMG CHAIRMAN, MR IBRAHIM ZIKIRULLAHI AND THE VICE CHAIRMAN, HAJIA LIMOTA GOROSO, AT A NEWS CONFERENCE. PHOTO: NAN

FROM LEFT: PROJECT MANAGER, TRANSITION MONITORING GROUP (TMG), MR LAZARUS APIR, TMG CHAIRMAN, MR IBRAHIM ZIKIRULLAHI AND THE VICE CHAIRMAN, HAJIA LIMOTA GOROSO, AT A NEWS CONFERENCE. PHOTO: NAN

The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has distanced itself from the presidential election debates organised by the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG).

Chairman of TMG, Ibrahim Zikirullahi, in a protest letter to the NEDG Executive Secretary, Eddie Emessiri, on Saturday in Abuja, also accused the organisers of fraudulently using its name to solicit for funds without its consent.

“For the avoidance of doubt, TMG wants to make it clear that at no time were we invited either verbally or in writing to participate in putting together the 2015 Presidential Election Debates. We are therefore dismayed that our name and corporate identity has been used, including in requests for sponsorship, creating the impression that TMG is officially in the know of these debates.

“To say the least, we find the unauthorized use of our corporate identity in canvassing for funding, and in creating the impression that we are an integral part of the project, unacceptable. This runs contrary to the objectives of transparency and probity that an otherwise laudable project like the Presidential Debates would seek to entrench in Nigeria’s democratic space”, Zikirullahi said.

The TMG chairman said that while the group believes in deepening Nigeria’s democracy and would ordinarily be at the forefront of promoting activities like the debate for candidates, it would, however, not be party to underhand moves that sacrifice due process and good conscience on the altar of expediency.

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