- For day one, The Candidates hosted Prince Adewole Adebayo of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), along with his running mate, Yusuf Buhari.
- The SDP is one of the oldest political parties taking part in the 2023 elections. It was formed in 1989 by former military leader, Ibrahim Babangida. It was part of a project meant to usher Nigeria into a democratic era.
As promised, Daria Media in partnership with Citizen is bringing to you exclusive coverage of The Candidates. On November 17, 2022, we played host to Prince Adewole Adebayo of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), along with his running mate, Yusuf Buhari.
What key areas did they focus on?
Adebayo in conversation with the host, Kadaria Ahmed, led the discussion by explaining to Nigerians the reason we should vote for him ahead of the 17 other candidates. He believes that of all of them, he is the one with the best understanding of the issues.
He highlighted five issues he would tackle on getting to office. Poverty, insecurity, infrastructural deficit, lack of investment in agriculture and health and devolution of powers (restructuring). He promised 50-50 gender inclusion in his government and an end to university strikes.
What interesting things did he say?
Adebayo wrote off 14 of the candidates saying that only four or five had any real plans for the country. He made a claim that the SDP was the first party to burst the myth that Nigeria is broke. Adebayo insisted that it isn’t, adding that 80 per cent of Nigeria’s oil is being stolen.
Adebayo made an even bolder claim of providing 30 million jobs within 18 months in office. When Kadaria pressed him that this was highly unrealistic, he doubled down on it. He said that he would get those jobs from five sectors of the economy. These include agriculture and agro-allied industries, ICT, (the social sector which includes healthcare, job creation via road infrastructure), and new technology which centres on cryptocurrency.
Adebayo spoke on the issue of self-determination. He said no to secession. Adebayo claimed that he had been to all 774 local governments in Nigeria. No one in the South-East wanted to break away from Nigeria, including the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB). His words, “I have more respect for Nnamdi Kanu than the people in government”.
Nnamdi Kanu [Image source: Punch]
Kadaria pressed him further and asked what he would do about those who are adamant about being marginalised and want to leave. “You can walk away”, he said. “That’s why we issue passports”.
Of course. He took aim at Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), making references to how he invested state money in “family business”. Adebayo also took shots at bad boy Buhari who he accused of irregularities in governance. He went as far as calling out former president, Goodluck Jonathan.
What were reactions like?
One member of the audience, Mike, felt that Adebayo did not present practical solutions. He said nothing was raised about the creative industry. He noted that filmmaking is a potential area for job creation.
Similarly, one of the pundits, a podcaster, Ireti Bakare-Yusuf , laughed at Adebayo’s plans concerning crypto as a moneymaker for the economy. She noted that the crypto space has been bleeding a lot in recent times and isn’t viable for job creation.
Overall, it was a thrilling affair and we look forward to day two of The Candidates scheduled for November 18, 2022.
If you’d like to learn more about The Candidates, Citizen will be providing exclusive coverage for the duration of the town halls.