Advocacy group, Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE Nigeria) in partnership with Google, Channels TV, Facebook, GEMSTONE, GenVoices, MTV Base and Global Shapers officially announced plans for the election debate series, ‘The People’s Debate’, which will hold ahead of the February general elections.
The announcement was made at a press conference today, Monday, January 19, 2015 at the Protea Hotel in GRA Ikeja with partners and advocates present.
The debate series has been created to position voters at the centre of the democratic process by reinforcing the narrative that elections and governance are about the people. It aims to provide voters with the information required to select credible candidates and hold them accountable once in office.
“This platform is meant to constitute itself into an effective opposition to governance, not just at the point of election but throughout their terms in office.” Funmi Iyanda commented.
The Presidential Debate will be moderated by Mr John Momoh in his first return to TV in at least 5 years. The debate is scheduled for Sunday, February 1st in Abuja and will be broadcast live on Channels TV and streamed live on Nigeria Info 99.3 FM and online via a Google Hangout and on Youtube.
While candidates tend to shy away from debates, the platform hopes to create a groundswell of citizen’s demand for a debate. Citizens are being asked via various platforms – online, SMS, TV, radio – to show their support for a debate by voting on what topics they would like discussed. As of today, security tops the list.
When asked what guarantee the organisers have that the candidates would attend, Kayode Akintemi, General Manager at Channels TV representing Mr John Momoh said, “It is our responsibility as members of the press and as citizens to demand a debate and ensure candidates who do not commit are called out. In 2015, a debate is a requirement for campaigning.”
2Face Idibia, the face of the Vote Not Fight Campaign also lent his voice to the cause.
EIE Nigeria also revealed that it’ll co-host 6 governorship debates in each geo-political zone: Lagos, Rivers, Imo, Kaduna, Taraba & Plateau, with the first one being in Plateau this Saturday, January 24th with the APC, LP & PDP candidates.
The debates are part of EiE’s flagship RSVP Campaign which aims to get young people to Register to vote, Select credible candidates, Vote and Protect their votes using tools such as the Revoda mobile application. EiE believes that if Nigerians engage actively around these 4 activities, the quality of governance in Nigeria will improve.