The vice presidential candidates of the PDP, YPP, ANN, ACPN and APC were given sufficient time to relay their programs and objectives to millions of Nigerians on national and international television and they did.

Some candidates earned votes, some lost votes on the night. Folks were calling me from my little village and state to say they had changed their minds based on the performances of the candidates.

Debates don't matter? Tell me about it!

Days before the debate, some social media pundits were of the opinion that debates or vice presidential debates for that matter, do not matter. Well, they do, as anyone who has been following the conversation since December 14 can now attest to. We underestimate how sophisticated our voters are becoming in this age of internet proliferation and information technology.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during the debate
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during the debate

Another school of thought dismissed the debate beforehand as a waste of precious time because vice presidents are no better than “spare tyres” in the larger scheme of things at the presidency. This school of thought is largely flawed as well.

There is no busier man in the presidency these days than Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who not only deputizes for President Buhari when his London medical vacation comes calling, but who also determines a chunk of the economic policy direction of the APC led federal government.

There are persons who have decided to vote for one of Umma Getso (YPP), Peter Obi (PDP), Ganiyu Galadima (ACPN), Yemi Osinbajo (APC) and Khadijah Abdullahi-Iya (ANN) after watching them on the big stage last week. It is what it is. And voters will keep changing and making up their minds before the first ballot is cast in anger in February. It’s just the way it is.

Which is why we should encourage more of these debates and engagements with candidates from the states to the federal levels, across all political offices—be there senatorial, governorship or House of Reps candidates. Our democracy is richer for the debates, for the spotlights on the contenders and for the campaigns.

Here’s to more political debate nights and more short-takes from the political parties. Here’s to more memes from debate nights and more comedy skits from fans of gladiators. Whatever you do, don’t ever say debates are not important.

Campaigns are important, bringing opponents on stage to slug it out is….