With the 2023 presidential elections only less than five months away, many Nigerian voters are still eagerly awaiting a contest of jaws between the various presidential candidates. In every election period, it is customary to have manifesto-focused debates to allow candidates to openly address the issues they intend to address if elected to office, and to allow voters to determine their preferred candidates or parties.
In light of the above, the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) has announced that it is ready to launch its presidential debate by mid-November this year in view of the 2023 presidential and general elections. according to NEDG will provide a fair and equal platform for the various party candidates to present a full and thorough knowledge of their economic policies and program to Nigerian voters.
Speaking to reporters at a joint press conference with organizing partners in Abuja, NEDG Executive Secretary Dr. Eddie Emessiri noted that the initiative aims to ensure that Nigerians are better informed on economic policies. and policies of presidential candidates and make informed decisions as they head to the polls in February 2023. According to him:
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“It is against the above that participants in the presidential debate are expected to share their ideas on how Nigeria can sustainably develop its economy while addressing fundamental issues in the following areas: environment and macroeconomic indicators.”
Mr Emesseri said the candidates to feature in the debate would be selected from the results of the ongoing opinion poll which is already open to the public. According to him, due to financial and time constraints, NEDG will limit the number of presidential candidates to the four most popular based on the results of the ballot.
The NEDG executive secretary also revealed that the results of the opinion poll would be out early next month and the debate would follow almost immediately.
“The final list with the names of the selected candidates and the methodology of the selection process will be announced on November 8, a week before the first debate,” he said.
“This year’s debate will be brought closer to people from Abuja and then Port Harcourt, Lagos and Kano,” Emessiri said, adding that the debates would be broadcast by all federal government and state radio and television stations. states.
Emessiri expressed optimism that such debates would allow the electorate to make informed decisions at the polls, resulting in leaders who would positively transform the country for the benefit of all. He also assured the candidates of a fair engagement platform, saying that all stakeholders would be duly coached.
Organizing partners include Nigeria Broadcasting Corporations, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, Nigeria Journalists Union and Publishers Guild among others.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), NEDG is a coalition of broadcasting organizations, civil society organizations and professional groups, who are committed to deepening democracy in Nigeria.
NEDG is also committed to entrenching a lasting democratic culture through televised debates held since the return to democratic rule in Nigeria in 1999.