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Sunday, 1 February 2015

ELECTION DEBATE: Muhammadu Buhari Agrees To Participate In Presidential Debate with GoodLuck Jonathan On February 3

Nigerian voters will have an opportunity to assess those seeking their mandate to administer the affairs of the country as presidential debate has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 3 as part of the build-up to the February 14 elections. The debate, initiated by and ARISE Television and Channels, and THISDAY and Guardian Newspapers Limited on behalf the Newspapers Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), is scheduled to hold at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

The February 3 debate is coming on the heels of an earlier attempt by the Nigeria Election Debate Group to host a presidential debate, which is currently mired in controversy following the rejection of the invite to participate by the presidential flag-bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, alleging unhidden bias and campaign of calumny by its key organisers against the party’s corporate interest.

An indication that Tuesday’s debate will not suffer the fate of the BON-organised version has been bolstered by the acceptance of the invite through a letter by Jonathan/Sambo 2015 Presidential Campaign Organisation, while General Buhari Campaign Organisation has indicated his intention to participate in principle.

In a letter dated January 14, 2015, to the organisers of the debate, Senator Ahmadu Ali, Director General of the Jonathan/Sambo 2015 Presidential Campaign Organisation, said the President "has accepted to participate in the debate."

No official letter has been received from the General Buhari Campaign Organisation as at press time, but it has indicated its intention to participate in this debate in principle.

In the letter dated January 11, 2015 to both candidates and delivered the same day, the organisers had noted that "too many of the troubles we now face stem from governance: decisions made behind closed doors, regulations removed when no one was looking, or reckless actions and impunity across the polity."

The letter also reads: "Our nation is strongest when our elected leaders are accessible and accountable to its citizens, explaining decisions and answering tough questions. That standard of openness and transparency must start long before Election Day on February 14, 2015."

The footage of the debate, which is expected to be watched by civil society groups and youth groups among other stakeholders, will be made available live to all broadcast stations and will also be available on the social media: Twitter, Facebook and Google. Attendance at the debate will be strictly by invitation.

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Enyinda Nathaniel Okey

good development... no matter the organizers... even if organized by apc

Endy Edeson

@okey: am happy the debate will finally hold.

Kingsley Torn-bari Gbaarabe

This debate is not election, you can say something that is not realisable or achievable during a debate. Na valentines day 2015 go tell Gen Buhari say there no love 4 him in Naija.

Jehoha Dacoolboy Angelben

watx d essense of d debate?

Alvarez Ugochukwu

Hmmmmm... public disgrace loading...

Amaechi Paulo Bienonwu

Nice one at list i ike 2 hear d 2 of dem speak

Kingsley Torn-bari Gbaarabe

@Amaechi paulo, you like to hear a P.hd holder and someone that forge waec speak? anyway u get time

Jesse Osayande Vucinic Ehiagwina

Non story IMO but better than the one AIT would organize. That station is shooting its credibility by siding with the PDP. But then again, free press and unbiased press in an illusion. That's why the press is not something I get too much credence to. The private owned ones almost always take the view of their principal.

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