A former National Secretary of the Labour Party (LP), Dr Kayode Ajulo, on Monday urged the organisers of presidential candidates debate in Nigeria to reduce audiences at the events to ensure decorum.
The LP chieftain spoke against the backdrop of Saturday’s debate, between vice-presidential candidates of five political parties and the upcoming presidential debate scheduled for Jan. 19.
The debate was organised by the Nigeria Election Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).
Ajulo, who doubles as the Founder of the Egalitarian Mission for Africa (EMA), an NGO, told NAN in Lagos that while commending the organisers of the debate, the presence of supporters of candidates at the venue was not necessary.
“The debate is a live TV event, the number of audience should be limited and in proportion with the debaters to ensure decorum and a situation where supporters of one candidate would not be able to out clap that of another candidate.
“It is also important that a panel is put in place to debunk and or confirm the veracity of facts being made by the debaters.
“As it should be noted, the vice-presidential candidates during the debate, made several allegations that ought to be pointed out in order not to mislead viewers,” he said.
The candidate mentioned in two instances that Turkey and Indonesia are members of BRICS nations and no one there was able to correct him, rather, the semi-literate audience kept clapping.
“Meanwhile BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
“The candidate also submitted that Iran and Afghanistan are two countries with terror incidents above Nigeria. This is also wrong. Not to mention the fake statistics that Nigeria has a meagre two million vehicles which is utterly wrong.
“As at 2017, the NBC reported 12 million cars in Nigeria. Does it mean that 10 million of those cars got bombed by Boko Haram or probably got condemned in an accident within or after one year?
“The debate which is widely watched and given premium attention must not be turned to spinning competition,” Ajulo added.
He suggested that the audience should be experts and technocrats that should assist the moderator rather than party supporters.