Utomi Seeks Disqualification Of Candidates Who Dodge Debates

Professor Pat Utomi, a chieftain of the Labour Party, has called for the disqualification of candidates who dodge debates.

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Saturday, Utomi also asked the Nigerians to use their power to vote against candidates who fail to make themselves available for debates.

Accrding to him, debates provide the electorate with an opportunity to assess the plans and capacity of candidates offering themselves for election.

He said, “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, on television to define South Korean elections.

“Once debates came to define elections, moneybags and all kinds of criminals and charlatans ran away and their electoral process became one of a sustained, enormously developed country.

“So any politician that refuses to make this fundamental contribution to the democratic process should be considered unfit, unable and unwilling to participate in the democratic process.”

Utomi added that if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lacks the courage to disqualify such a candidate, the electorate should do so on election day.

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