The leading presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) held a debate on Sunday to educate Nigerians on their strategies if elected as the country’s president in 2023

The event organized by Arise News television station saw three of the four leading presidential candidates in next year’s elections honor the invitation with the exclusion of Bola Tinubu of the All-Progressive Congress (APC). 

The security state of Nigeria is one of the prevailing concerns which many Nigerians would be hopeful the next administration ends as soon as possible. In addressing the security state of the nation, all the participating presidential candidates agreed that the level of insecurity in Nigeria was unacceptable and needed to be improved upon. 

  • The candidates also echoed that Nigeria’s security system must be restructured in order to attract more personnel and fundings to boost the sector. 
  • The candidate further added that there must be special training programs for personnels of the force to enhance their response in emergency situations and to secure the nation. 

Medical tourism and brain drain 
Many Nigerian politicians have normalized traveling out of the country for medical trips. In fact, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari recently embarked on one. To check this anomaly, Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) promised to increase the investment in the primary health sector by training more health professionals, building more primary health centres, and equipping them to make healthcare accessible and affordable to the public. Peter Obi also added that Nigeria needs to improve insurance, like in advanced countries of the world.

  • Alhaji Atiku of PDP promised to improve the private health sector in the country by providing incentives to investors, both local and foreign. 
  • Rabiu Kwankwaso of the NNPP said “foreign medical trips will not be acceptable because as long as leaders embark on medical tourism, everybody will continue to do the same thing.”

Educational sector 
The candidates agreed that an increase in the funding of universities would better the educational sector in the country. However, both Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Atiku of PDP added that the government needed to put in more work to closely monitor the distribution of the approved funds. 

The big picture 
The presidential debate was a good outing for the three presidential candidates in attendance. With the eloquence with which the candidates spoke, fencists should be certain of who has their votes. Furthermore, the continued absence of Tinubu, APC’s presidential candidate, at events where questions are thrown at him might cast doubt on his ability to speak at public events without his entourage. 

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