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Nigerian Elections Debate Group Postpones Today's Presidential Debate Over Challenges With Logistics

January 26, 2023

Executive Secretary, NEDG, Eddie Emessiri, who confirmed the postponement to SaharaReporters on Thursday, attributed it to logistics problems.

The Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG) has postponed the Presidential Debate scheduled to hold today, Thursday, January 26, 2023 by 5 pm.


Executive Secretary, NEDG, Eddie Emessiri, who confirmed the postponement to SaharaReporters on Thursday, attributed it to logistics problems.


"We have postponed it; we are not holding any debate again. We have logistics problem so we are postponing it for now," Emessiri told SaharaReporters on Thursday.

Though some presidential candidates told SaharaReporters that they did not get any invitation to attend the debate, Emessiri said NESG was planning to invite all presidential candidates.

In an invitation letter sent to the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Prince Adewole Adebayo, dated January 18, 2023 and titled: "Invitation To Participate In The 2023 Presidential Rescheduled Debates," the debate group said the debate would give candidates the opportunity to reach out to Nigerian electorates on why they should be voted for.


The group said that presidential candidates should appear in person as no representatives would be allowed to debate on their behalf.

In the letter sent to the SDP presidential candidate, Adebayo, with Ref: NEDG/BON/E/22/144, the group said "Sir, we write in respect of the above subject matter and to request the honour of your Presidential Candidate's distinguished presence and participation in the Presidential Debate scheduled to hold on Thursday, January 26, 2023.

"Broadcast take-off time is 6.00 p.m. You are expected to arrive the venue at 5.00pm to enable us complete make-up preparations for your live broadcast. Venue in Abuja will be communicated to you in due course as we want this information to be private and confidential.


"The Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG), the Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON) and a number of Civil Society Organisations are collaborating in this Debate to sensitize Nigerians as you use the Debate to explain in detail your manifesto, programmes and policy focus of your agenda.


"We expect this debate to greatly influence the people's voting patterns during the 2023 General Elections."


The group added, "We also understand you have participated in a series of Town Hall meetings so far, but this will be the only Presidential Debate where the radio and television stations under the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria will facilitate exposure to the largest radio and television audience in more than 30 million households across the country through a Live Transmission Coverage using all the major public and private broadcast stations."


The debate group had stated that 60 television and 160 radio stations that are registered members of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) would be participating stations.


"The NEDG has technical support and received relevant training from the United States Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), Washington D.C.


"Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG), on behalf of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), has formally notified the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and The Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the National Broadcast Regulator on this debate, and given guarantees that we shall maintain the highest standards of debates ethics, integrity and equal opportunities for all candidates


"Sir, we consider this debate to be the biggest stage to communicate your plans to the citizens and we look forward to your acceptance of this invitation to participate in the debate," the letter partly read.