Ahead of the January 19 Presidential debate for front line Presidential candidates of the country’s major political parties, some of the expected participants have called on the Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), organisers of the debate to include the Presidential candidates of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore; Social Democratic Party (SDP) – Donald Duke; All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) – John Gbor and KOWA party Adesina Fagbenro-Byron
In seperate tweets made on Thursday by Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili, flagbearer of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), and Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), who made a case for their counterparts,”considering their assiduous efforts to galvanize a base of citizens to get involved in these crucial polls,” as well as the fact that inclusiveness is the beauty of democracy it was necessary to include them in the debates.
In explaining her position, ‘Oby’ noted that being “a country with huge contingent of Parties fielding candidates for election, it does make sense to at least allow more than 5 such parties, at least 25 percent of those candidates, to participate in the most influential of Presidential Debates.”
Fela on the other hand, hinged his call for the inclusion of more candidates on the premise that Presidential Debates must be inclusive & opportunities given to as many candidates as possible to share their vision with all Nigerians, while Moghalu of the YPP stressed that it will be useful to understand why other candidates were not included in the debate.
— Oby Ezekwesili (@obyezeks) December 13, 2018
Inclusiveness is the beauty of democracy and I believe the organIzers of the #PresidentialDebates should include other frontline candidates
— FelaDUROTOYE (@feladurotoye) December 13, 2018
I am pleased that the YPP has been invited to the NEDG/BON/Channels TV debate on January 19. However it will be useful to understand why other candidates such as @YeleSowore and @Donald_Duke are not included in the debate.#Nigerians need to know.
— Kingsley Moghalu (@MoghaluKingsley) December 13, 2018
The NEDG/BON had on Monday, released the names of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Young Progressives Party (YPP) as political parties that will be participating in its forthcoming Presidential/Vice Presidential debates but left out ‘front line contenders’ for the polls like AAC’s, Omoyele Sowore and former Cross River Governor, Donald Duke who is running on the platform of the SDP, sparking up conversations on social media.
‘Dayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Political Analyst, Writer and Social Change Advocate with major interests in Politics, Governance and Sports.