Five presidential candidates of five political parties were scheduled to participate in the debate, but only three took to the podium, as the presidential candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress, President Muhammadu Buhari; and that of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, stayed off the event for various reasons later adduced by them.
Here are the nuggets served by the candidates of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Oby Ezekwesili; Alliance for New Nigeria, Fela Durotoye; and Young Progressives Party, Kingsley Moghalu, as captured below;
• Nigeria needs a different kind of leadership that will transform the country and make it the envy of other nations
—Presidential candidate of Young Progressives Party, Kingsley Moghalu.
• Together, we will all build a nation that will work for us —Presidential candidate of Alliance for New Nigeria, Fela Durotoye.
• I have the capacity, the competency and the character to take on this new leadership that our country deserves—Presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Oby Ezekwesili.
• Skill, capital and literacy are what will fix Nigerian economy and take it into industrialisation —Moghalu.
• We will lift at least 80 million Nigerians out of poverty through improvement in the productivity of majority of Nigerians who earn less than N700 a day —Ezekwesili.
• My plan is to provide 30 million jobs —Durotoye.
• Every citizen of Nigeria matters. You matter, I matter, we all matter. That’s the basis for healing Nigeria —Moghalu.
• We will ensure that the girls in the schools are safe and well taken care of —Durotoye.
• To reduce opportunities for corruption, you do things like structural changes in the economy —Ezekwesili.
• My Presidency will make sure that Nigeria’s peace will be established on the basis of equity, justice and accountability —Moghalu.
• To improve the security situation the leadership of the Armed Forces should not be based on friendship or ‘man know man’ but based on performance —Durotoye.
• We must modernize teaching. We will take teaching to the prestigious profession that it once was by training the teachers massively, and equipping them with the new knowledge of the new economy —Ezekwesili.
• I will end ASUU strike in Nigeria —Moghalu.
• There’s a huge supply of bad behaviour, savagery in our country because there has not been any judicial process that has led to the conviction of anyone that has killed a fellow Nigerian —Ezekwesili.
• One of the reasons why people are not paying taxes is not because their taxes will not be judiciously used, but because of the wastage and the corruption, they have seen in the system —Durotoye.
• They believe that the people of Nigeria have no voice & no choice. That you will always come back to them. The second reason they are not here is because they cannot answer the questions —Moghalu on Buhari, Atiku’s absence from the debate.
• Today, those who commit savagery know that there’s no consequence, and whenever there’s no consequence to criminality, it mushrooms —Ezekwesili.
• We will build a new Nigeria of our dreams together. Where there are job opportunities, where businesses exist and where nobody needs to know anybody to get into office because it will be a nation for all —Durotoye.
• The APC and the PDP; one is a kettle, one is a pot, and they call each other black —Moghalu.