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2019 Election: NEDG, BON hold debate for Nigerian Presidential Candidates

Candidates took the stage for the 2019 Presidential Debate hosted by the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) to enlighten Nigerians of their plans if they win the election.

The debate took place on Saturday at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja Nigeria.

Candidates present at the debate are Oby Ezekwesili (Allied Congress Party Of Nigeria ACPN), Fela Durotoye ( Alliance For New Nigeria ANN), Kingsley Moghalu (The Young Progressive Party YPP).

However, President Muhammed Buhari (All Progressives Congress APC) , Atiku Abubakar (Peoples Democratic Party PDP), were absent from the debate.

Atiku Abubakar stated that he would only participate in the debate if President Muhammadu Buhari is present.

During the introduction of the candidates, each candidate was given 3 minutes to introduce themselves and state their mandates.

Kingsley Moghalu of the The Young Progressive Party YPP stated that with the support and vote of Nigerians he would be sworn in as the 8th President. He said his government would have a foundational approach to the issues in the country. He explained that he would establish effective system where the women and children would be part of the government. He noted that his government would ensure to equip women and children with skill acquisition programmes.

Speaking on the economy, Mogahalu said that the path to fixing the economy was by electing leaders who have a vast knowledge of the economy. He said he would focus on reforming the education system. Skills and Capital will fix the economy.

He vowed that his administration will focus on ICT to move the country forward. He added that he would create a start-up innovation that would move to the rural areas and boost job creation for young people. He said money to fund this would come from the private sector and be run by the private sector.

He said the candidates are absent because they are arrogant and cannot answer the questions that would be asked.

On tackling insecurity, he said he would use the political will to address it and secondly tackle corruption in the military, partner with the people and work with neighbouring countries on border control.

On reducing the spate of kidnapping, he said his government would invest to create a world class police that would be properly organised and modern. He said the police to citizen ratio is extremely low. There is no greater investment than investing in security of life and property

On restructuring, he added that he would make every Nigerian feel like a Nigerian, he would address problems from the roots starting from the constitution of Nigeria and he would practice inclusive government. We shall have a constitutional restructuring of this country and be not choked by Abuja centrality; we shall have an inclusive administration based on merit, from Sokoto to Ibadan they shall be represented by their best.

On education, he said his administration would prioritise education in the country and change the curriculum to lean towards vocational skills and ICT. He said he would make sure that the education budget would be the first to be passed. I will end ASUU strike in Nigeria.

He added that his government would make secondary education free.

On Health, he said he would focus on quality and access to health care services in the country. He promised to increase the health budget to 15% in line with the Abuja health agreement. He vowed to build world class hospitals and drastically cut down medical tourism. We shall focus of quality of healthcare provision, ensure UHC, budget for health shall move from 3% to 15% as stipulated by the Abuja Declaration which Nigeria has never kept, ensure each of the 6 geo-political zone has a world class healthcare facility.

He said his presidency will ensure that Nigeria’s peace is established on the basis of justice, equality and accountability. Every citizen in the country matters

He said the APC and the PDP has brought the country to a sorry path, he however said with him as president, the future would lean towards a robust economy and a robust ICT.

Fela Durotoye said Nigeria is one of the best nation in the world, he said that as a leader he has dedicated his life to the service of the people. Durotoye noted that his government will give hope to Nigerians, and make it a nation that works for all, irrespective of age and class.

On diversification from oil he said he would focus on sectors that would grow jobs such as agriculture, housing and road infrastructure. He noted that the infrastructure of the country is completely decayed, and he vowed to fix power, roads and housing thereby creating jobs for Nigerians.

He said his administration would reduce cost of government and eradicate wastage, reform institutions to ensure that they deliver quality services, boost the economy to grow jobs and re-orient Nigerians to know that paying tax is a way to secure the future.

He said the absence of the candidates shows that the future of the nation is at the debate. He added that if you can’t tell the people what you plan to do then you become a ruler and not a leaderwe have had 58 years of independence and not 58 years of freedom Leadership is about competence and character.

On security he would strengthen security agencies and ensure that the military personnel is well taken care of. He also stated that he would work on the ideology feeding the insurgency.

On Border Security, He added that his government will invest in drone facilities that will help to secure the border. He said he would ensure that if a person crosses the border illegally, they would be repatriated by the communities that they crossed into.

He said his government would get the private sectors involved in curriculum development for schools. He noted that values and work ethics are not taught in schools so his government would ensure that all students would be taught how to act in the work environment.

On Education, he said it is the more you learn that increases your capacity to earn, adding that he would ensure that teachers are committed to the success of the students and not just seeing them pass out. He would invest in the learning infrastructure and have values in the curriculum.

He said he would enforce a law that prosecutes parents that don’t send their kids to school.

On Health, he stated that his administration would provide quality primary healthcare centres in the country. He would ensure that everyone above 60 and below 5 would get free health care. He noted that health practitioners would be trained to man the centres.

On the fight against corruption, he said in his administration it will be easier to catch a thief and more difficult to steal. He said he would strengthen anti corruption agencies by training and equipping them.

He added that power will shift hands to people who have the interest of the nation at heart.

Oby Ezekwesili, She noted that Nigeria is in dire state and needs to be rescued. She quoted Chinua Achebe by saying the single problem with Nigeria lies in its leadership. She said women have been failed as 60% of women are poor. Oby added that Nigerians have no business being poor. She said the country would continue to fail unless the politics of the country is changed, which is why she has stepped forward to run for the President of the country.

She explained that Nigerians are poor because they earn below 700 naira per day. She added that when people have higher productivity, they earn more and when they earn more they lift themselves out of poverty. She advocated for the empowerment of women.

Oby said she is not surprised by the absence of APC and PDP candidates, they have just announced their exit from the government she added that if they cared about Nigerians, they would be here to speak, adding that she showed up for the debate because she believes that it is time for a new kind of politics and leadership in the country.

On security, she noted that she would send a sharp signal that there is a new sheriff in town. She said she would make it clear that the territory is not one which anybody can take. She also with economic opportunities, people stop listening to wrong ideologies

On youth unemployment and the education sector, she stated that her government would get a scheme that targets young people in the society to make them employable. She also said teachers must be trained to be able to impart knowledge. The way out for our youths is jobs jobs and more jobs

She advocated for early child education adding that Education is the pathway to solving human problems Teacher quality is at the heart of education quality, she said she would take the teaching profession to what it used to be.

She added that she would identify the learning outcome missing in the schools and fix them. Greater power would be given to teachers’ body and increase the remuneration of teachers and give them houses.

On Health, she said she would expand access to the National Health Insurance Scheme. She would also address the challenges of keeping our health practitioners in the country. She said she would connect health and wellbeing to productivity.

On Youth Empowerment, she noted that youths must participate in agendas and promised that her cabinet would be made up of 50% of youths. She said she would ensure that the youths are globally competitive.

On Corruption and human rights, she stated that as a president, exemplarily leadership would be paramount. She said she would shed light on the happenings of the oil sector which would reduce corruption in the sector.

She noted that the citizens of Nigeria can choose a leader that truly cares and is competent and she is running for president to fix the state of the nation.

Source: Voice of Nigeria