The Arise Presidential Town Hall held. on Sunday, yesterday at Abuja was poorly organized and it failed to deliver the promise of gathering major presidential candidates for 2023 election. This is symbolic and indicative of disorganized Nigeria and its inability to do anything right.
First and foremost, it was billed as presidential gathering of major presidential contenders but it deteriorated into a jumbo of presidential candidates, presidential running mate and flag bearer of lesser known political party.
Arise organizer failed to deliver the candidates they promised and two major candidates did not show up. Those Present at the debate were presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi; presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso; presidential candidate of the Peoples Redemption Party, Kola Abiola. The presidential candidates for the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu and the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar were absent at the debate .
The organizer allow the vice presidential candidate to seat and debate with presidential candidates. In advance democracies, which Nigeria is aspiring to become, debates for presidential candidates and vice presidential candidates are initiated separately. They never allow running mate to represent presidential candidate. The Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar was represented by his running mate Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
When it comes to the architecture of the venue, the stage was not decorated to give ambiance of a serious political gathering. There were no pictures of the candidates on the stage. The stage was poorly lighted and the audience seated too close to the stage. This gives access to the audience to easily interrupt and distract the candidates speaking on the stage.
Allowing just one person to host the gathering was cumbersome and overloaded. It will make more sense to have more than one host, inorder to make interaction with the candidates quicker and easier with follow up questions. ARISE can do better than this!
Emeka Reuben Okala says
I totally agree with the writer that, in a presidential candidates’ debate, running mates of whichever party should not be interspersed. Presidential candidates’ debate should be purely and exclusively for presidential candidates, while Vice Presidential Candidates’ debate should exclusively be for Running-mates. That way, people would know who to hold responsible in the event of nonperformance or breach of promise/s. In this particular scenario, it will be difficult, if not totally unfair to hold Atiku accountable for a promise made by Okowa during the debate. if their ticket flies at the end of the day. Thank you.
The organizers of the so-called presidential debate lacked standard organizational control right from the debate planning to execution. If I may ask, where did they borrow a leaf from? This is not the first time presidential debate has taken place in Nigeria. In all, this one by ARISE TELEVISION was the most poorly organized. It lacked both structural and content candor/value. The moderator looked not being in-charge on the stage. Can someone tell why political charlatans could disrupt the debate proceedings from the audience? There should be well spelt out rules guiding the planning and execution of the debate. The Abiola-Tofa presidential debate was a pacesetter that should be followed and improved upon rather the opposite was the case in the Ruben Abati moderated piece of garbage of a presidential debate.
I am ashamed that thirty years after the first presidential debate in Nigeria, organizers of this most recent one was caught napping.
What a regression could that be? If they don’t know what to do, they can consult the American Presidential Debate Council to educate them better. Even google is good enough to guide them better to produce a debate that is filled with structural and content validity. How could a presidential debate be a mixture of apples and oranges? I can not beat the organizers good enough for their failures rather may I hope and wish that they or others coming after them would do better.