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Re: TMG disowns NEDG’s presidential debates

TMG is one amongst the six (6) organi-sations that formed the NEDG. The Corpo-rate Affairs Commission’s (CAC) Certificate of Incorporation is hereby attached for ease…

TMG is one amongst the six (6) organi-sations that formed the NEDG. The Corpo-rate Affairs Commission’s (CAC) Certificate of Incorporation is hereby attached for ease of reference and verification. At no time did TMG notify nor signify its intention and readiness to pull out of the NEDG.
At the commencement of the planning of the 2015 Presidential Debates, appropriate letters of invitation were sent to all the stakeholders amongst which was TMG both by e-mail and hard copies.
It is rather unfortunate that spurious allegations will be made to the contrary that invitation was never extended to him (the current Chairman of TMG, Ibrahim Zikirullahi) on the 2015 Presidential Debates (Ref APP B).
The aspect that we found most objec-tionable and intriguing is the allegation of – “fraud, unauthorized use of TMG’S corporate identity to solicit for funds, transparency, probity and underhand moves.”
We wish to state categorically and emphatically that the letter written by NEDG to donors for sponsorship were attached to special cost heads. These donors in the past which is their usual practice often channelled their donations directly to the service provider i.e. Hotel accommodation for moderators and panellists, their honorarium and airfares. Donor organisations have never paid NEDG directly.
The total cost of staging a Debate is quite enormous. It covers – venue, stage, production, publicity, accommodation for both the production crew; the organizing team, airfare, local transportation, courier services, hospitality amongst others.
For the sake of “probity and transparency’ stated in the article under reference, we wish to educate Mr Ibrahim Zikirullahi that members of the Central Planning Committee/the organizations that they represent most times levy themselves to stage what has now been institutionalized as NEDG Presidential and Governorship debates in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
We are aware of the subterranean and calculated attempt to smear the hard earned and patriotic integrity of the NEDG by some persons and organisations. We shall and can never be distracted from our avowed commitment to the deepening healthy democratic culture in our dear country through continuously promoting the culture of intellectualism in our political space and the enthronement of issues-based campaigns/politics.

Tony Akiotu, Chairman, Publicity Committee, NEDG 2015 Presidential Debates

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