Nigeria: Ezekwesili Calls for More Candidates in Presidential Debate

13 December 2018

The standard bearer of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Oby Ezekwesili, on Thursday lamented the exclusion of some presidential candidates that were excluded from debate.

Ezekwesili, who is one of the female candidates that will be running for the presidential seat during the 2019 general election, opined that it is not reasonable to allow only five candidates to participate in the presidential debates out of many contestants that will be running for the same seat.

"As 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," Ezekwesili said in a tweet.

Recently, the Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) named only five political parties, to participate in 2019 vice presidential and presidential debates.

The participants of the debate include Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Kingsley Moghalu for the Young Progressives Party (YPP) and Ezekwesili.

Meanwhile, BON and NEDG excluded Omoyele Sowore of the African Alliance Congress; Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party; Tope Fasua of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party and a host of others candidate from the debate.

Ezekwesili said she will like to see one of her opponent, Sowore, in the presidential debate.

"I (Ezekwesili) want to see a candidate like Sowore, whose AAC has been diligent in crisscrossing Universities to awaken our young to engage in our Politics."

The former minister of education praised the organisers of the debate for their efforts to get citizens involved in the polls while urging them to include an additional five presidential candidates for the debate.

"I also believe that candidates of APGA, KOWA Party & SDP should be part of an additional list of 5 candidates for the Presidential Debate of BON/NEDG, considering their assiduous efforts to galvanize a base of citizens to get involved in these crucial polls."

The presidential debate will hold on Saturday, January 19, 2019, while the Vice Presidential debate will hold at the congress hall of the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja on Friday, December 14, 2018.

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