Members of the African Action Congress (AAC) on Friday staged a protest at the vice presidential debate in Abuja to demand the inclusion of their candidate, Omoyele Sowore, and Ahmed Rufai.
The event, which is holding at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton, was disrupted for a few minutes when the protesters besieged the entrance of the hall, despite the presence of armed policemen at the venue.
The protesters carried placards and chanted solidarity songs. They arrived the venue of the event at 6:45pm.
Jude Eya, who led the group, said they were protesting to show solidarity and ask for the inclusion of Sowore in the election debate.
“We are here to demand the inclusion of our vice presidential candidate, Dr. Ahmed Rufai, and presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore. Our party should be included in this debate. This debate is a national exercise. AAC is registered party in Nigeria. We the young people are not happy with the way AAC and our candidate Omoyele Sowore has been excluded from this exercise.”
He accused the organisers of “bias”, stating that “the process of selection would have been made open to allow every candidate see that it was not manipulated”.
Eya demanded for the documents contianing the criteria for selection of candidates, adding that AAC was rated third in the poll that was conducted online.
“Surprisingly, there was an online poll that was conducted to test our popularlity and AAC came third. So, if there is any party to be put in the third position after APC and PDP, then it should be AAC,” he stated.
In his address, Ina Okopi-Agu, Assistant National Secretary North Central of the party and Director of Special Duties of the #TakeItBack Movement, vowed that the party would continue with the protest until the issue is addressed.
“We would have expected a situation where the others who were invited turn it down, but to our shock even the other parties who are not at the mainstream are represented here.
“We expected that they would have acted on this and refused to show up for this event. Right now, I see some of them on the screen and we want to assure the people who have put this together that we are coming for you. The youth of this country will take back their country in 2019.”
Okopi-Agu demanded that the next debate slated for January 2018 be put on hold, adding that the country is “bigger than anybody trying to hold it to ransom”.
He said since the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) is a public organisation funded with tax payers’ money, the group would continue with the protest and not give up on its demand for justice.
SOURCE :sahara reporters (news)