Abuja - If the Senate bill which scaled second reading on the floor of the parliament on Wednesday is eventually passed into law, all presidential and governorship candidates will henceforth, participate in an organised debate before they can be eligible for elections, reports Daily Trust.
The bill, tagged: “Nigerian Political Debates Commission Bill, 2015,” was sponsored by Senator Abdulfatai Buhari.
In his lead debate, Senator Buhari informed the lawmakers that the intent of the bill is to give legal teeth for the establishment of a commission with responsibility to organise and conduct debates for all the candidates cleared by the Independent National Electoral Commission for governorship and pesidential elections in 2019.
Buhari listed the benefits of pre-election debate to include providing the platform to sample candidates’ knowledge on a wide range of issues such as how they intend to foster economic, foreign, health and education policies, among others.
Also read: Buhari boycotts presidential debate
Contributing to the debate, Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna central), said that the establishment of the commission would address the intellectual deficiency in the country’s political discourse.
In his remarks, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said that if passed the bill would enable the electorate know the capacity of candidates fielded by political parties.
The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on INEC for further legislative actions.
- News 24