Imumolen charges northern elders with a transparent presidential debate



Oct. 18 (THEWILL) – Accord Party presidential candidate Prof. Christopher Imumolen has tasked the Arewa Elders Forum with a free, fair, transparent and inclusive presidential debate.

Professor Imumolen spoke amid claims by Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), that the main northern lobby group had concluded its intention to use its planned presidential debate to endorse a candidate for the 2023 general election.

He said it was in Arewa’s interest to ensure a high level of transparency in the conduct of the proposed debate.

“I am speaking in the context of allegations made by my fellow presidential candidate, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso, who recently withdrew from the soon-to-be-hosted Arewa House debate, alleging that there was a secret plot to use the event to endorse a candidate.

“I want to believe that’s not true, although it’s obvious that some of my colleagues who are standard bearers for other political parties weren’t included.

“Well, let me say this. If the organizers want Nigerians to see the debate as credible, they should not be seen as excluding any candidate. Everyone who deserves to be in the debate should be invited to present and defend their manifestos.

“Selecting a few candidates will not only give tacit credence to the fears already expressed by Kwankwaso, but it will also reduce the options for our more discerning electorate who tend to make their choices from what they see.

“Besides, nowhere in the world is a presidential debate made up of a forum of approvals for the candidates. The Arewa Advisory Forum will therefore be shooting itself in the foot by trying to do so, and thereby show that it is sectional and biased in its outlook.

“Now I am sure they cannot be expected to be taken seriously by those who expected them to be apolitical, fair and transparent in conducting a debate that has profound implications for the future of our great country,” he said.

Professor Imumolen urged Arewa to avoid the mistakes made by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) when they also held similar debates recently.

“Arewa must do everything in its power to avoid the mistakes made by both the NBA and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry when they selected a few of the candidates to take part in their versions of the debates. presidential meetings at recent conferences in Lagos,” he said.

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