NEDG schedules presidential debate for March 22

By Post Nigeria March 3, 2015 19:31

NEDG schedules presidential debate for March 22

The Nigerian Election Debate Group, NEDG, has announced that the new scheduled date for the presidential election debate is March 22 2015, urging all credible presidential candidates to utilize the provided avenue to succinctly convince the electorate on why they should be voted in to power.

Mr. Sola Omole, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of NEDG, made the announcement on Monday, during a visit to The Sun Publishing Limited, Lagos office. He said the objective of the debate was to institute the culture of debating issues as strong component of democratic experience in Nigeria, stressing that it was one that all contestants needed to take full advantage of.

“NEDG has been around for the past seven years and we have done debates around the country. I believe we need to seek understanding and support from media houses so that we can generate some awareness around the debate.”

When asked if he had gotten the backing of all the presidential candidates, he stated that it was a work in progress.

“We are to write to all the political parties and solicit their support. To be frank, as at now, all other parties minus All Progressives Congress, APC have indicated interest that they would participate. We are still going to visit the APC and put the card on the table before them. But whatever they say, it is certain that we are going to do it,” he said.

“I cannot say because one person might not come and then we shut down the whole process. The loser in that kind of proposition is the Nigerian population. The platform we are rendering would allow the electorate to make a knowledgeable decision. The questions we would ask candidate A are the same we would ask candidate B. We would run it in three sections; 12pm to 2pm, 3pm to 5pm and 7pm to 9pm.”

“I believe politicians should make use of every opportunity they get, to convince the electorate why they must vote them into power. This is the biggest platform for the candidates; because it would be broadcast live throughout Nigeria and outside the country,” he said.

Omole said he could not be held responsible if any of the parties did not show up at the debate, stressing that the duty of the group was primarily to provide an equal platform for all candidates to showcase themselves.

Prior to the shift in poll dates by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from February 14 to March 28, the NEDG had scheduled a presidential debate which the notorious All Progressives Congress, APC had threatened to boycott for flippant reasons.