Nigerians Have Just Come To The Sudden Realization That The Political Culture Called Presidential Debate Is Dead In Their Country.

12 days ago888 views

Nigerians have just come to the sudden realization that the political culture called presidential debate is dead in their country. The death knell for the debate was sounded by Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress. Tinubu had declined to participate in the town hall meeting put together by Arise News for presidential candidates. He had a load of reasons for his decision. His campaign office went further to alert Nigerians and other concerned publics that he would not participate in any presidential debate in whatever guise or form. The organizers of the Arise town hall may not have envisaged this. Even if they suspected that a Bola Tinubu may not be willing to participate in the debate, they may not have imagined that he would put a stamp of finality on possible future appearances. But the debate went on regardless of that. But what turned out as a rude shock to the organizers was the refusal of the audience to accommodate any presidential candidate represented by his vice. The Atiku Abubakar campaign was the immediate victim of this. His vice, Ifeanyi Okowa, had shown up in his stead to represent him since he was said to be outside the country at that time. But the audience would have none of that. They did not want any presidential candidate to speak to them through a proxy. But after so much howl, Okowa was grudgingly allowed to represent his principal. But that is not all there was to the event of the day. Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party who has never shied away from public appearances, took a hard decision. He was not going to, thenceforth, participate in any debate where his fellow frontline presidential candidates, namely, Atiku and Tinubu, are absent. The implication of this is that there will be no more presidential debates since Tinubu has stated in clear terms that he would not be part of any such exercise. With this development, the culture of presidential debates has died a sudden death in Nigeria, courtesy of Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Peter Obi’s position in this matter is well considered. A vice presidential candidate cannot assume the role of a presidential candidate when the latter is alive and kicking. The reason is simple. The two positions are not interchangeable. In an an electioneering setting such as ours, presidential candidates are the face of their campaigns. The people will judge a political party on the strength of who is flying its flag. This is because, when the election is won, the contract which brought the candidate to power is usually between that candidate and the people. The vice plays no role here. It is therefore preposterous to assume that both are one and the same thing. They are not. If we permit such lowering of standard, vice presidential candidates will, sooner or later, begin to dress themselves in borrowed robes. As Nigerians strive to make sense out of this necessary stratification, they have come to know, suddenly too, that Tinubu, the man who used to revel in political showmanship, is no longer the vibrant and showy character that they used to know. They have come to see and know that time and age have worn him thin. He no longer has the verve and vibrancy that used to be his hallmark. Those who are close to him give the impression that his health is failing. The safe thing to do therefore is to keep him away from public glare as much as possible. This is the strategy that the Tinubu campaign has adopted. However, whatever the trick that his campaign may be foisting on the public, the fact remains that their candidate has a job to do. His aspiration to be the president of Nigeria is not mere wishful thinking. It is a well worn ambition which the man is working hard to realize. If his aspiration sails through, the destiny of the country and its people will be handed over to him. This being the case, the people have the right to know who the candidate is.

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Anonymous

12 days ago

NigeriaLast activity 12 days ago

You start to dey follow the presidential election.


Jonathan and Buhari didn't attend any presidential debate, but they won


Yardua didn't perform well during the presidential debate, but he still won.


Tinubu won't be forced into attending an unorganised debate

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This reinforces the fact that your votes are not required to win presidential elections in Nigeria. From our university days, we see that debates were critical to convincing the electorate of their suitability, particularly for student union elections. Discussions are essential to electoral victory in all advanced countries where people's votes count. Even in previous republic debates or, at worst, door-to-door campaigns, were critical to election victory. But now, the participants are so fearless in the rigging that they feel they don't need to convince the electorate in a debate or door-to-door campaign. They need to pay political bigwigs, thugs, traditional rulers, religious leaders, Election officials, and judges, and they win elections.

Anonymous

12 days ago

NigeriaLast activity 12 days ago

Good, write-up, Op! But the erosion of this most significant value did not start with Tinubu but OBJ. Since '99, every candidate that has won the presidential elections refused with flimsy reasons to attend the presidential debates—making it easy for them to deny the boundaries of their contract with the people after winning. It is never too late to the right a wrong. Nigeria desperately needs a president in good health & a sound mind. No better way for the public to determine this than an open interactive session with other opponents. It is now up to Nigerians to place a standard by themselves. We're not voting supporters but the candidates! If your candidate cannot show up and explain his manifesto, we don't need SM debaters who are not contesting anything to explain to us again! Na who fit expresses himself we go vote!

Anonymous

12 days ago

NigeriaLast activity 12 days ago

When did debate become part of the requirements for the presidency?


Obi should gather his fellow like Sowore and Kola Abiola if he wants to debate. 

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When did common sense become a natural human endowment? At no time. People are born, and some have a purpose while others don't. However, we all need common sense t function well.


Could you bring it to the current situation?

When did presidential debates become part of the requirements for the presidency?


At no time. However, to truly exercise true democracy where citizens know the capability of who they're choosing, it's necessary for presidential debates.


Will it kill Tinubu and Atiku if they attend? Why are they then afraid of intellectual discourse regarding what they're looking for in Aso Rock?

NigeriaLast activity 12 days ago

Naija politicians have taken us all in this country for a fool. INEC should enshrine in its constitution all candidates seeking electoral offices starting the presidency must debate. Tinubu is a coward running from the debate.

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Anonymous

12 days ago

INEC cannot make the laws of the land. The national assembly can but would not. Nowhere in the civilized world are debates constitutional.


However, they can be necessary if the moderators do their jobs and the podium is even.


None of these things happened without even your Obi stating so.

NigeriaLast activity 12 days ago

How can the most populous black nation in the world not have a Presidential Debate b4 choosing Its president? This is very shameful. No wonder the Country is not moving forward.


Meanwhile, some fools who support this are the ones that Always rush to Their tv to watch the American Presidential debate.

NigeriaLast activity 12 days ago

If someone didn't respect Nigerians before the election, how would he respect them after the election? The worst dictatorship in the history of Nigeria is about to be born.

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