In advance of the general election in 2023, political economist Professor Pat Utomi has demanded that any candidate who does not show up for the debate be disqualified.
Utomi, who spoke to media in Abuja, urged Nigerian voters to exercise their right to reject candidates who refuse to participate in the debate, which he claimed would provide voters a chance to evaluate the strategies and qualifications of candidates ahead of the election.
“The fortunes of South Korea were turned around because the electoral commission was so despondent about the quality of their politics that they decided that the thing that should matter the most for elections are debates between candidates.
“So it became entrenched in the conventions of South Korean politics. Before anybody goes to an election, they would have had a series of debates on the streets, in town halls, and on television to define South Korean elections.
Moneybags and other thieves and charlatans of all stripes fled as soon as arguments started to characterize elections, and their electoral system became that of a sustained, highly developed nation.
Therefore, any politician who declines to make this essential contribution to the democratic process ought to be viewed as unsuitable, incapable, and unwilling to take part in it.
Utomi stated that on election day, the electorate should disqualify the candidate if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lacks the guts to do so.