Utomi demands that candidates who do not attend debates be disqualified in 2023.

Professor Pat Utomi, a leading political economist, has called for any candidate who is absent from the election debates to be disqualified. I

Utomi made this call during a weekend press conference in Abuja.

He also urged Nigerian voters to exercise their right to vote against candidates who fail to appear for the debate.

Utomi explained that debates give voters a chance to assess candidates’ plans and capabilities before the elections.

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,” he said.

“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,” he said.

If the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) does not have the courage to disqualify such a candidate, the electorates should do so on election day, according to Utomi.

Remember that INEC set the presidential and national assembly elections for February 25. The governorship and state assembly elections are scheduled for March 11, 2023.

The electoral body had previously set September 28 as the official start date for presidential campaigns.

For more updates, always visit dailygam.com

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