According to the Sun on Friday, a bill proposing mandatory debates for all Nigeria presidential and gubernatorial candidates has passed through second reading at the upper chamber of Nigeria’s legislature.
This bill was solely sponsored by Oyo North senatorial district’s senator Abdulfatai Buhari. This bill also seek to mandate vice-presidential and deputy governorship candidates to mandatorily participate in debates too before election proper.
The upper legislative chamber voted in favour of the electoral act amendment bill on Thursday, March 19.
The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) would be constitutionally empowered to organise mandatory debates for the candidates to help boost and strengthen the electoral processes and to equip the electorates with the ideal leaders whom they believe will deliver the dividends of democracy, from presentations or agenda.
Most of the lawmakers agreed that making the debates mandatory for candidates would help in their assessment and improve Nigeria’s electoral process.
Buhari, the sponsor, said it would also be used to sample the candidates’ readiness on a wide range of burning issues as is being done in other developed countries.
Buhari said: “Voters learn from the debate and are more accurately able to judge candidates and get additional information about them.
It also helps the candidates to speak on a wide range of issues.
In Nigeria presently, only the ministerial candidates or nominees are subjected by the National Assembly to a compulsory debates before they are confirmed for appointment as members of the Federal Executive Council(FEC).