15th March, 2011
Malam Abubakar Jijiwa, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of Nigeria Elections Debate Group, said on Monday in Abuja that eight presidential candidates would be selected for debate out of the 19 to be screened.
Jijiwa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that selection of candidates for the debate would be based on the number of candidates fielded by political parties.
He said the debate, slated for March 28, 29 and 30, would be held in two batches made up of four candidates in each batch.
The group, he said, had dialogued with political parties on the need to feature their presidential candidates in the debate.
He further said that the group had partnered with INEC and the National Orientation Agency to sensitise parties on the debate.
â€œWe will ensure that our panelists raise critical issues affecting the people, the nation and politics.
â€œ That is why we want every newsman to be sensitised on the best approach to issues of political debate for 2011 elections.
â€œWe hope to look at all issues of the debate as an event and something that becomes a permanent institution.
â€œFor example, we have been able to register Nigeria Elections Debate Group as a body by law and that body will take care of every aspect of political debate in the country,â€ he said.
According to him, the group will go beyond the debate by recalling some of the issues raised by newsmen and the responses by politicians in order to ensure fulfillment of electoral promises.