Leadership

The 2019 Presidential Debate: A Quick Recap

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“How could it be that the seating president and a former vice-president shunned the 2019 presidential debate which held at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja on Saturday night. This is nothing but a dirty two-sided slap on our hopeful faces.” X pj

Blaming Buhari’s absence as his reason for boycotting the debate, Atiku said “he cannot challenge or question an administration where the man at the helm of the affairs of the nation is not present to defend himself or his policies”. What an inadequate justification for his decision to leave the debate premises. It was expected to be a formal discussion on particular matters and not a witch-hunt. On the other hand, Buhari was said to be absent due to his tight schedule. However, Fani-Kayode has described his actions as cowardly, saying that he is weak and does not want to appear before Nigerians in his vegetable state. We are being owed by Buhari and demand a fat-sum of answers to many of our questions.

In my opinion, both candidates failed to utilise the platform which was given to them to present and defend their visions for Nigeria. They dismissed or rather did not take the advantage offered by the debate to show regard for the public and basic principles of democracy. Atiku saw an increased opportunity to attack Buhari’s absence, but dismissed such a good time because he was mainly thinking of an unnecessary bitter brawl with the president instead of ways to win the Nigerian people. I call this pride and it comes before a fall or just maybe he had nothing exciting to deliver to the public.

And as for Buhari, he has just made matters worse on how the general public perceives him. How can Buhari’s campaign spokesman Festus Keyamo say that he has taken up other formats to market himself and the arrangement did not suit Buhari. Just for clarification and better understanding, is he saying that presenting a valid criticism or case to Nigerians on a debatable platform is irrelevant? What happened to the man who will fight till the end, considering that he fought tooth and nail for the seat he currently occupies or could it be true that he is no longer fit for the job and feared being scrutinised or exposed.

To the presidential candidates who participated in the debate, we listened to your sets of solemn promises and also thank you for honouring us. It was a debate found very interesting by many who attended and watched it live on television.

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As the new sheriff in town, I will bring a new approach of fighting insurgence and no fewer than 80 million Nigerians will be lifted out of poverty” – Oby Ezekwesili (2019 Debate).

Obiageli Ezekwesili, a former World Bank Vice-President Africa Division, former Minister of Mines and Steels, former Minister of Education, co-founder of Transparency International and advocate of #bringbackourgirls, is the presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN). Her outstanding work during the Olusegun Obansonjo administration earned her the sobriquet of “Madam Due Process”. Therefore, her previous endeavours shows that she is a woman of endurance and integrity.

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I will harness intelligence to address the problem of insecurity in the country and through it, beef up the capacity of the military” – Kingsley Moghalu (2019 Debate).

Professor Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) is undoubtedly one of the most accomplished candidates contesting for the presidency at next month’s polls. He is a Nigerian political economist, lawyer, former United Nations official, Professor in International Business and Public Policy from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and the former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. (Wikipedia, 2019).

ANN’s (Alliance for New Nigeria) presidential candidate, Fela Durotoye, is a Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, Consultant and former Financial Analyst. He facilitates and speaks at management and leadership retreats across, within and outside Nigeria. I think a man like Durotoye, if given a chance will be a passionate president.

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I will focus on agriculture, housing and road construction which, in my opinion are the three most important sectors” – Fela Durotoye (2019 Debate).

You all have indeed shown the people who you are and that you are sensitive of the matters that has evidently crushed our society. To a certain degree, each one of you have convinced us that you possess suitable abilities needed to carry such a heavy burden as the president of this nation. On this account and while we wait for other candidates to present their cases and visions, Nigerians should consider either Kingsley Moghalu, Obiageli Ezekwesili or Fela Durotoye, a chance to become our next president come 2019.

It is high time we kick the old folks out. They need some rest.

X pj.

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