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Top media giant, the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC Igbo Service has come under heavy criticisms for excluding 60 governorship candidates from Imo State in its planned debate.
The debate is scheduled to hold on January 19, 2018 on its Igbo Service. Of the 64 governorship candidates vying for the number one top job in the State, only four candidates were shortlisted for the debate from Imo State.
Those listed include Action Alliance (AA) governorship candidate, Uche Nwosu, All Progressive Congress, APC governorship candidate, Senator Hope Uzodinma, All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA candidate, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP governorship candidate, Emeka Ihedioha.
The BBC Igbo Service is also holding a similar debate in Igbo language for candidates from Abia State. It also listed four candidates. The media house did no state reasons for excluding some candidates from the debate.
Mr. Ralph Ejimkonye, in an email message to this newspaper wrote“ The BBC is a well respected media organization. It is stunning in such a debate, most of the governorship candidates were excluded. And we ask what was the criteria for excluding them and limiting it to only four candidates. Why limit the number of those to take part in the debate?. This is sad
A facebook user, Uche Ejiogu in his reaction, wrote on his wall “A Governorship debate without the likes of hon.Tony Nwulu of the UPP, Linus Okorie of the YPP, Okey Ezeh of the SDP, Aloysius Osuji of MAJA PARTY, Ikedi Ohakim Of ACCORD PARTY is that one a debate?
In another post on whatsapp by one Mr. Kelechi, he wrote “ Re: BBC NEWS IGBO; Anything worth doing, is worth doing well, Professionalism, Equity and Fairness are key in service delivery! …… It is to be noted that the procedure and process that saw to the enlistment of a very insignificant few candidates was enmeshed in a lot of controversies and the opinion polls were generated via a medium which does not represent the actual deciders of the election in their respective states, thou raising the issue of who actually was sponsoring the debate and the purpose for which the debate is meant to serve.
“I therefore, call on the organisers to show strength, capacity, wisdom and professionalism by including other candidates of the other parties like Hon. Tony Nwulu of the UPP, Sir Ikedi Ohakim of the Accord, Ike C Ibe of the ID, Linus Okorie of the YPP, Mike Ikeoku of the YDP among others.
“These are Imolites and we want to know what policies and programmes they intend to bring onboard when elected.