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NEDG, BON mute on contestants who fail to partake in 2019 election debates

…Trend shows no participating presidential candidates ever wins since 1999 except GEJ

Whereas the Nigerian Election Debate Group (NEDG) and Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) have announced the dates for 2019 presidential and vice-presidential election debate for Jan. 19, 2019 and December 14, 2018 respectively, the organizers have failed to envisage boycotts and how it will manage such.

It would be recalled that over the years or since the beginning, no participant has ever won a presidential election in Nigeria, thus suggesting that a voiding the debate may determine win in 2019.

This is based on the fact that all former presidents from Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Musa Yar’Adua,  current President Muhammadu Buhari with the exception of former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, none of them attended the debate and any form of question and answer interactive session from the campaign  season to the presidency.

Analysts say the trend has created a credibility crisis for the entire packaging and called on the organizers to add flesh to the bone of their organizational intelligence so as to attract all participants’ especially presidential candidates.

In a detailed plan of action announced Thursday in Abuja by the Chairman of BON, Mr John Momoh, who doubles as the Chairman/CEO of Channels Media Group, said the debates will be aired on all BON member radio and television stations across the country and also streamed on social media platforms.

According to him, “The Nigerian Election Debate Group and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria are organising a presidential debate on December the 14th, 2018 and a vice presidential debate on January the 19th, 2019. The debates would hold at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja and will be broadcast live on all BON member radio and television stations across the country.”

“The debates will also be streamed live on all mobile and social media platforms such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter And Instagram, to give it a global coverage,” he said.

He added that the debates will focus on the issues that matter most to working families; restoring our economy, providing electricity, creating jobs, securing health care for every Nigerian, making and achieving excellence in every Nigerian school and ensuring safety and security for Nigerians.

While insisting that the NEDG will not share the roles of setting that debate formats and rules, he averred that “The Nigerian Election Debate Group would set the format and rules of the debate, handle moderation, outline the criteria for political party participation, ensure the objectivity of audiences and steer negotiations between broadcasters and the parties.

“Nigerians expect the leaders of all political parties to be challenged in a very public and robust way in these debates, not just one of them, but a series of them,” Momoh announced.