NIGERIAN ELECTORATES have no challenging choice to make from the array of presidential candidates for 2019 presidential election. It is between incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, candidate of ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, candidate of main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Buhari and Abubakar will be the focus of the presidential debate; which may include other presidential candidates, scheduled for January 19, 2019, organized by Nigerian Elections Debate Group, NEDG. Vice presidential candidates Yemii Osinbajo running mate to Buhari and Peter Obi, running mate to Abubakar will be the focus for the “Vice Presidential Debate”; along with other vice presidential candidates scheduled for December 14, 2018.
During the presidential debates, creativity in leadership will move from stating issues in print, to elevated principle of strategic discuss on governance. John Momoh, who doubles as Chairman of NEDG and Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria, BON, at a news briefing, Thursday, in Abuja, said the debates would hold at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja, and transmitted live by all BON member stations.
Buhari and Abubakar are expected to tell Nigerians and the international community how they intend to tackle Nigeria’s most obdurate problems — Economy, Restructuring Nigerian To Workable State, Enhanced Electricity, Health Care Delivery System, Education, Job Creation, Labour and Social System, Sufficiency In Food Production, Monster Of Corruption and Boko Haram Insurgency, among others.
Preemptively, Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, earlier in the week, stated that President Buhari should make it mandatory to participate in the planned presidential debate. Ologbondiyan was reacting to the reported interview granted Rotimi Amaechi, Director-General, Buhari Campaign Organization, by Arise News Television, last Thursday.
Amaechi at the interview said the decision for Buhari not to participate in 2015, presidential debate as APC presidential candidate was because it was not necessary. He said Buhari’s 2019 Campaign Committee would meet to deliberate if Buhari would be part of the 2019 presidential debate.
Ologbondiyan words: “The APC and its presidential candidate are scared. If you say President Buhari should debate, what will be the basis of his debate? He has failed to fulfill the three promises he made to Nigerians in 2014/2015, so the referendum, as far as the 2019 elections is concerned, is the failure of President Buhari in office and they don’t want PDP to speak on that”.
Ologbondiyan said: “We are not surprised that they are laying the foundation of running away. But Nigerians want to hear from anybody who desires to be their president in 2019. They want to listen to what such a candidate has to offer and what he is bringing to the table and what difference he will make. So, if President Buhari comes to debate, will he talk about his taxation? Or the grinding economic condition of our nation or the hunger he has plunged Nigerians into?”
And added: “Is he going to talk about the incompetence of his administration? But we will drag them to the debate. Our candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has been accepted across boards by Nigerians and he will emerge victorious.”
Buhari, presidential candidate of All Progressive Congress, APC, was absent at the 2015 Presidential Debate organized by Nigerian Election Debate Group, NEDG, in Abuja. President Goodluck Jonathan, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and four other presidential candidates participated at the debate.
The four presidential candidates who joined President Jonathan for the debate were Comfort Oluremi Sonaiya, Kowa Party, KP; Martins Onovo, National Conscience Party, NCP; Godson Okoye, United Democratic Party, UDP; and Chekwas Okorie, United Peoples Party, UPP.