The big night is here and Nigerians are anxiously waiting for the 2019 presidential debate to kick off. Nigerians are also anxious to know if the presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and that of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will show up for the debate.
Recall that only five candidates were invited for the debate which was put together by the Nigeria;n Election Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) ahead of the general elections.
9:37: And we have come to the end of the 2019 presidential debate show. Thank you all.
9:36: Timi Dakolo gives the national anthem as the programme rounds off
9:35: The candidates received their certificate of participation, courtesy of BON/NEDG
9:27: They hold hands in a show of unity, as requested by the moderator and as Timi Dakolo sings.
9:26: The candidates now step forward to receive applause for their performance - Moderator
9:24: What our polity really needs is a leader who truly cares and is capable. It is possible, and it will be done when you agree. make sure that on the 16th of February, you use your vote well.
9:23: Ezekwesili: This is a historical moment. This is your moment. The citizens can shift a new direction for our country.
9:22: The candidates are rounding up with their last pitch
9: 00: On corruption, Durotoye said the present government's way of dealing with corruption is selective, where people who are dealt with are those who are not in the govt's party. He said he would strengthen institutions to fight corruption.
8:45: On getting the money to fund education budget, Durotoye said alumni funding is important and his government will ensure alumni are encouraged to go back to their schools and fix them.
8: 42: On health care, Durotoye said primary health care centres need to be strengthened to prevent primary health issues like malaria from escalating. He said everybody above the age of 60 and those below 5 will get free health care.
8: 40: On fixing education, Moghalu said all students will be taught how to run businesses aside getting a formal education because that is the future. He also mentioned that his government will end ASUU strikes in the country.
8:33: On improving education, Durotoye said his government will ensure that teachers are committed to the success of their students in life. He said teachers must be an expert in the subjects they handle.
8:27: A break
8:21: He says many in Nigeria today do not feel part of Nigeria. He promises that his presidency would make all Nigerians feel Nigerian. He also promises inclusive governance.
8:20: Moderator asks Moghalu what he will do about the Biafra agitation
8:19: On tackling insecurity, Moghalu said his govt will bring to the problem the political will to do and intelligence. He said it will work with neighboring countries, create economic opportunities, and ask the citizens for collaboration.
8:19: Moghalu says our curricula prepare youth for certification, not qualification for jobs.He vows to involve the private sector in curriculum development. He says we have to give the right values to students.
8:18: On solving unemployment, Durotoye said the present education system is preparing Nigerians for certification only. He said his government would get industries in curriculum development. He also said work ethics need to be taught in schools
8:18: Ezekwesili identifies unemployability as one of the problems. Among her solutions is massive deregulation of sectors that are closed to the private sector. "If many of the people in the public sector get jobs in the private sector, they will take it. The private sector provides more jobs than the government."
8:17: What plans do the candidates have, to reduce youth unemployment?
8:16: Nigeria has no police force - Moghalu
7:55: Speaking on steps towards tackling insurgency, Ezekwesili says the first thing is to send a sharp message that a new "Sheriff is in town" and set up a SWAT team that will respond to security challenges swiftly.
7:54: On fixing the security issues in the country, Durotoye said security and intelligence must be integrated. He also said the ideology fueling insurgency in the country must be tackled to solve terrorism.
7:52: Meanwhile, Atiku Abubakar has apologised to Nigerians for not attending but challenged President Buhari to a debate.
7:51: On tackling insecurity, Moghalu said his govt will bring to the problem the political will to do & intelligence. He said it will work with neighboring countries, create economic opportunities, and ask the citizens for collaboration.
7:50: My government will cut down the cost of recurrent expenditure by 50 percent within two years of his administration, if elected - Moghalu
7:49: Arrogance - They believe Nigerians will always come to them. They have a sense of entitlement but not a record of service to the people of Nigeria - Moghalu
7:49: APC and PDP are not in debate because they cannot answer intricate questions - Moghalu
7:48: Durotoye describes APC and PDP as a coin with two bad sides.
7: 48: When asked to comment on the absence of @MBuhari and @atiku at the #2019Debate, Durotoye said it means the future is here. He also connected their absence to pride, saying pride comes before a fall.
7:47: On improving ICT in the country, Moghalu said his administration would focus on building infrastructure for ICT and expand broadband to rural areas to empower youths in building businesses.
7:46: Durotoye said he would rather ride in a bus when he becomes the president to reduce wastage in governance as a means to increasing people's interest in paying taxes. He said the era of long convoy will end to reduce government cost.
7:45: On tax payment, Durotoye said people are willing to pay taxes when they get value for the taxes they are paying. He tied people's disinterest to tax payment to corruption in government.
7:44: On diversification of the economy, Durotoye first mentioned Agriculture as the first sector to be fixed. He also said power and road need to be well handled. On Agriculture, he said commodity board needs to be driven.
7:43: On bringing the economy out of its present mess, Moghalu mentioned job creation and empowering the youths
7: 43: On the strengthening economy, YPP candidate, Moghalu said we cannot fix the economy if we don't fix our politics. He said the path to fix the economy is to elect the president who understands the economy.
7:42: Moghalu said his government would use proper recruitment process to deal with the high cost of running the government. He also said within 2 years, his government will bring down the cost of government to 50%.
7:41: On diversification of the economy, Durotoye first mentioned Agriculture as the first sector to be fixed. He also said power and road need to be well handled. On Agriculture, he said commodity board needs to be driven.
7:40: On bringing the economy out of its present mess, Moghalu mentioned job creation and empowering the youths.
7: 39: On the strengthening economy, YPP candidate, Moghalu said we cannot fix the economy if we don't fix our politics. He said the path to fix the economy is to elect the president who understands the economy.
7:39: The moderator asks Moghalu: the cost of government is one big concern. The high recurrent-capital expenditure ration and how he intends to reduce them.
7:38: The candidates are now going to answer questions on the economy.
7:31: What we see in our country is massive failure of leadership. - Oby, ACPN presidential candidate.
7:31: Nigeria needs to be rescued urgently. We have no business being the capital of the world's poverty - ACP candidate, Oby Ezekwesili
7:30: "The problem with Nigeria is simply and squarely the problem of leadership" - Ezekwesili
7:30: Mrs Ezekweili says she will lift 80 million Nigerians out of poverty. Se says the best way to lift Nigerians out of poverty is by improving their productivity. She says her government will lift women out of poverty enormously. She says her government will remove barriers to productivity.
7:29: On the 29th of May, 2019, I will be sworn in as the 8th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. - Kingsley Moghalu, YPP Presidential Candidate.
7:29: On why he should become the president, Fela Durotoye said the country needs someone that could give everything the nation has but has not yet possess. He said Nigeria has been ruled and not led.
7:25: There is a short break
7:19: Candidates are now giving their opening speeches on why they want Nigerians to vote them as President in 2019.
7:15: Presidential Candidate of PDP was at the debate venue but decided not to participate at the last minute - Debate Host, Mark Eddo
7:12: Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was spotted outside the venue of the debate but hasn't been seen inside the hall so far.
7:11: Timi Dakola sings national anthem
7:10: Buhari and Atiku fail to show up
7:09: Kingsley Moghalu is introduced
7:09: Fela Durotoye is introduced
7:08: Oby Ezekwezili is introduced
7:02: NEDG executive secretary Mr Eddie is introduced to give a welcome speech
7:00: The studio opens and out moderator is Mark Eddo
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The candidates invited include presidential candidates of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) Oby Ezekwesili, Alliance for New Nigeria ANN Fela Durotoye, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar; and Young Progressives Party (YPP) Kingsley Moghalu.
The debate will begin from 7:00pm at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
In case you are unable to watch the programme live, don't worry, Legit.ng has got you covered as we will bring you live updates from the event.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reports that there are indications that being present at the debate, and performing well, will be a deciding factor in emerging winners at the forthcoming presidential election.
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.
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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.
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