The tradition of holding public debates ahead of major elections, governorship and presidential, has gained ground in the Nigerian political space.
Nevertheless, the general observation, over time, is that the performance, or even absence, of candidates at public debates does not have a direct influence on the results of the elections.
A recent instance is the case of the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2018 governorship election in Osun state, Senator Ademola Adeleke, who failed to show up at the gubernatorial debate but emerged the runner-up losing with just a very slight margin.
He was far ahead of other candidates, like Iyiola Omisore of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), that showed up at the debates.
However, as Nigeria prepares for the 2019 general elections, there are indications that being present at the debates, and performing well, will be a deciding factor in emerging winners at the elections.
In a poll conducted by Legit.ng on social media, Facebook, and Twitter, Nigerians were asked if they will vote for a candidate that is absent from the presidential debate.
Of the 7,577 Facebook users that participated in the poll, 64% said they will not vote any presidential candidate that is absent from the debate while 36% said they will go ahead to vote a candidate of their choice even if the candidate fails to participate in the debate.
On Twitter, 54% of the respondents also said they will not vote for any presidential candidate that fails to show up at the debate while 46% said not appearing in the debate cannot stop them from voting for a candidate.
PAY ATTENTION: Read the news on Nigeria’s #1 news app
The 2019 presidential debate is coming up on Saturday, January 19. The debate is organised by the Nigerian Election Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON).
The presidential candidates of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Young Progressives Party (YPP) will be debating ahead of the 2019 elections.
According to the NEDG and the BON, the debate will focus on the issues that matter most to working families; restoring the 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.
NAIJ.com (naija.ng) -> Legit.ng. We have upgraded to serve you better
Between Buhari’s Next Level And Atikulate - Nigerians React| Legit TV