NESG cancels proposed presidential debate

Tinubu, Atiku and Obi

(L-R): Three leading presidential candidate, Tinubu, Atiku and Obi: Presidential candidates of APC, PDP and Labour Party

By Sylvester Thompson

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has cancelled the proposed presidential debate on Economic Policy which was scheduled to take place in Abuja Tuesday.

This is contained in a press statement issued by Laoye Jaiyeola, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NESG and made available on Friday in Abuja.

Stating the reasons for the cancellation, Jaiyeola said, “a critical assessment of events surrounding recent engagements with the presidential candidates, as well as subsequent statements from political parties, necessitates a review of our plans.’’

She, however, reiterated that NESG, with mandate to foster establishment of economic foundation for democracy, would actively seek independent direct engagements with the candidates on critical economic policy reform issues and prescriptions.

“ We envision a Nigeria where election debates are an integral part of the electoral process, and candidates are eager to engage citizens in discussions about their mandates, experience, ability, capacity knowledge among others,” Jaiyeola said.

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Accordingly, the group said that the NESG was convinced that debates were essential to the election process and were increasingly regarded as the bedrock of a healthy democracy.

Jaiyeola equally said that debates also embody fundamental principles which ensure that citizens were informed and actively involved in leadership choices and decision-making.

“ At this critical time in our country’s history, it is now more important than ever to encourage Nigerians towards informed voting choices that result in transformational leaders,’’ she added.

The cancelled presidential debate on economic policy was initiated by the NESG and the Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG), facilitated by the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

Others were the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE), Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), Enough is Enough (EiE), BudgIT as well as Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU).(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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