Profile: 6 Things to Take Away from the Presidential Debate 2019

Filed in Uncategorized by on January 20, 2019 0 Comments

Here in this post, we are going to analyse the presidential debate 2019, profiling 6 things to take away from the debate. We hope you find it insightful.

Yesterday being the 19th of January, 2019 was billed the Nigerian presidential debate date in preparation for the 2019 general elections in Nigeria. With the elections barely some weeks away, the heat is turned on and on. Nigerians are asking questions in order to better understand the plans of those who intend to govern them at the different strata of government. One way of gauging what these aspirants have as their manifestos and plans for leadership is through debate and town hall meetings.

presidential debate 2019

Over the weekend, a presidential debate was organised by the Nigeria Election Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON). Here are 7 things we took away from last night’s debate:

1. This election is all about the two big contenders

presidential debate 2019

Forget the other candidates who spanned out across the stage yesterday, this presidential election is all about the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressive Party (APC) candidates. As someone said after last night’s fiasco, “the others are mere comedians and comediennes. The real tussle is between Atiku and Buhari and voters know this”. But the irony is that both candidates failed to show up at the stage. Atiku later showed up in backstage but backtracked after it became clear his main opposition contender and incumbent, President Buhari, wasn’t forthcoming.

The Buhari campaign train would later, through the President’s official Twitter handle, @MBuhari, issue a tweet that the president got enmeshed in official functions and campaign issues and could not make it down to the venue. In the same breath, they also cast barbs at Atiku for showing up but failing to mount the podium “…since there was no Buhari to attack, since he had no other plans for Nigerians other than attacking the president”.

2. But The Other Candidates Pack An Impressive Resume And Brainpower

presidential debate 2019

Elections in Nigeria haven’t always been about the smartest guy in the room or one with the most awe-inspiring ideas. However, it is worthy of note that the other candidates for this election at the presidential level do pack an awesome array of brainpower.

Nigeria presidential election 2019 candidates that mounted the podium last night included Fela Durotaye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), and Oby Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party (ACP). These candidates exuded intelligence and the gift of ideas on the podium last night. They  took turns to analyse their candidacy and what they stood to offer to the Nigerian people if elected president. But as I said earlier, history has shown that oratory and the gift of the garb do not win elections in Nigeria: power, connections, money, and more power do, regrettably.

3. Do the Debate Actually Determine Outcomes Of Nigerian Elections

presidential debate 2019
Commentators, both on social media and the print and electronic media, are split between if the debate actually influences the outcome of presidential elections in Nigeria. Others are of the opinion that in 2015, the incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari, pulled out of the presidential debate and still went on to win the presidential elections, unseating the then incumbent Goodluck Jonathan in a landslide.

It turns out the majority of the Nigerian electorate do not care two hoots the outcome of the debate. Most of them have already made up their mind who to vote. A  large chunk of them vote along tribal, religious and even money-induced lines. Heck, those in the rural areas aren’t even aware there is a debate going.

4. Shouldn’t The Electorate Try Out The Other Candidates?

presidential debate 2019
Theoretically, they should. But while the other candidates pack an impressive resume of ideas and brainpower, they stand very little chance of realistically off-staging the two major APC and PDP players. Reasons being that elections in Nigeria go beyond flashy ideas and eloquence. Instead, things get mired in the murky waters of who has the most widely entrenched structures across the massive country. For once, none of the new parties can pull any significant grassroots support that could engender tilting the support base in their favour. From north to south, east and west, the APC and the PDP hold sway. And this goes both in terms of massive popularity and the political clout to effect real campaigning nationwide.

5.  So, Where is Sowore?

presidential debate 2019

The presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) party, Omoyele Sowore, didn’t feature at last night’s debate. This is after the organisers ruled out his inclusion after saying he did not meet the criteria for inclusion on grounds of ‘character’. The candidate has since gone to court, protesting his exclusion, while continuing to campaign across the country.

6. Where Does That Leave Undecided Voter?

presidential debate 2019
The current binary option between the PDP and APC candidates at the national levels have left undecided voters with a dilemma. For those eager to unseat the incumbent, do they tilt their support towards Atiku, who is accused of being corrupt? Or, do they vote for other candidates outside the two who are without any realistic chance of winning the elections, thereby unwittingly retaining the incumbent in power?
This is the dilemma a lot of undecided voters are stuck in. More like having to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea.

But whatever it is, the outcome will be decided on February 16th, the day of the presidential elections. Until then, we can only keep our fingers crossed.

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I am Josh Bassey, a blogger, professional CV writer, copy editor and proofreader, as well as your go-to guy for all kinds of writings. Connect with me through the social media handles displayed above.

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I am Josh Bassey, a blogger, professional CV writer, copy editor and proofreader, as well as your go-to guy for all kinds of writings. Connect with me through the social media handles displayed above.

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