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The Senate wants to Pass a Bill mandating Presidential & Governorship Debates

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The last presidential debate, in 2019, saw the absence of major aspirants. But this may be the last time that’ll happen. Why? A bill seeking to make presidential and governorship debates compulsory for candidates has passed the second reading in the senate.

Abdulfatai Buhari, a member of the Senate representing Oyo North, led the debate on Thursday’s plenary session.

According to ThisDay, the bill sponsor said: “if the bill is considered and passed by the Senate, it will strengthen our democracy and bring it in conformity with the practice of other renowned democracies of the world.”

He added that “this Election Debates Bill, if passed into law shall be used to sample the candidates’ knowledge on a wide range of issues, like a detailed analysis of how they intend to drive the economy, foreign, health and education policies among others.”

The Cable reported that a senate member representing Lagos West, Adeola Olamilekan, contributing to the debate, stated that the bill is simply telling Nigerians, “Know your candidate”.  He further added that: “It will give Nigerians an idea about the capacity of the candidates to govern the country”.

However, Barau Jibrin representing was in opposition to the bill. He said “Maybe somebody could not attend the debate because of sickness. I believe it should not be mandatory, but optional.

Also, Danjuma Goje representing Gombe central also said the debates should not be within the jurisdiction of INEC. “Most times, candidates are assessed and awarded marks during these debates. So if INEC is doing that, that means the election has already been determined,” the senator said.

3 Comments

  1. by_stander

    March 20, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    (PT1)
    Absolutely long over due, if they can come-up with a fair way to “mark” the debates, the law should make it possible to use it as a tie-breaker in the actual election.

    Also the results should be used to make the standings on the ballot paper, with those that perform well at the top and those that perform badly at the bottom.

    Sorry but if you can not make it to a debate for health reasons maybe the job of President or Governor isn’t exactly for you, better you use your gift in other ways. I understand this also puts candidates at risk of being sabotaged, so it might be required to assign government protection to them once its clear they are running for office.

  2. by_stander

    March 20, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    (PT2)
    I would say that a reschedule of the debate for what is clearly accident/incident short illness, but that can also be abused, so it can be provided for with very strict limits. We can charge them per day to postpone if the date has been set and agreed.

    We can also add compulsory televised exam on inalienable rights of human beings, for candidates that can not attend the debate as a backup.

    The date for the debate should also be a national day, that is broadcast across the country by all media (including television and radio) without any commercials or interruption. Infact anyone not showing it should be fined. offices, Schools, Entertainment centers etc should be mandated to provide viewing. All viewing media should have mandatory free access to the debate.

  3. by_stander

    March 20, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    (PT3)
    I also want to add that, what is going on in the world today should teach anybody with a brain that, prosperity of a nation is not random. its not by having rent-seekers and thinking out of your ass.

    The key to prosperity is the respect and promotion of the inalienable rights of human beings, if you do anything different to that, you are just incubating a disaster.

    And our rent-seeking Lawyers and Accountants have deliberately stagnated and enslaved our nation for years just so they can have monopoly access to unregulated 3rd party fees.

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