Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, the woman who says she is the only candidate of the people that will take part in the presidential election of 2019, has made a case for persons whose names were not added to the list of presidential candidates that would be part of a debate.  

The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) on Thursday urged the Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) to include candidates of other political parties in the presidential debate.

The organisers had announced that only presidential candidates of the ACPN, Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Young Progressives Party (YPP) would be partaking in the debate.

With this, the presidential candidates expected at the debate are Ezekwesili, President Muhammadu Buhari, Atiku Abubakar, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, Fela Durotoye.

Omoyele Sowore of the African Alliance Congress; Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party; Tope Fasua, and a host of others were excluded.

But Dr. Ezekwesili gave reasons the other candidates must be included. 

1.    They Deserve An Opportunity

  The candidate of the ACPN said that candidates of other political parties also deserved to be given an opportunity to participate in the debate. 

She said: “As a country with a huge contingent of parties fielding candidates for the election, it does make sense to at least allow more than five such parties, at least 25 per cent of those candidates, to participate in the most influential of presidential debates”.  

2.    For Better Understanding Of Candidates’ Ideologies

She noted that allowing more candidates to participate in the debate would give Nigerians a better understanding of the candidates’ ideologies. 

“I especially wish to see a candidate like Sowore whose AAP has been diligent in crisscrossing the universities to awaken our young ones in ivory towers to engage in our politics. 

“Sowore is doing the country a great service because we must have that generation of Nigerians fully understand and embrace Plato’s counsel: ‘Those who think that politics is beneath them shall be ruled by their inferiors’.  

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“I also believe that candidates of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, KOWA Party and the Social Democratic Party should be part of an additional list of five candidates for the presidential debate of BON, considering their assiduous efforts to galvanise a base of citizens to get involved in these crucial polls. 

“I hope earnestly that this will be considered by the organisers,” Dr. Ezekwesili said.

The organisers earlier announced that the Vice Presidential debate would hold from 7:00 p.m. at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja on Friday, December 14, 2018; while the presidential debate will hold on Saturday, January 19, 2019.

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