The immediate past Commissioner for Works in Lagos State, Ganiyu Johnson (GAJ), on Sunday said debates would not determine who would win the 2019 presidential elections in Nigeria.
Johnson, who recently resigned to run as the All Progressives Congress (APC) House of Representatives candidate for Oshodi Isolo II Federal Constituency, made the assertions at an interactive session with newsmen in Lagos.
He spoke against the backdrop of the debate between vice-presidential candidates of five political parties on Saturday and the upcoming Presidential debate scheduled for Jan.19.
It was organised by the Nigeria Election Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).
Johnson argued that though, debates might have counted in other climes, in Nigeria majority of voters do not watch such debates, but vote based on benefits from governance.
He was, however, optimistic that that President Muhammadu Buhari would have a landslides victory at the polls.
Johnson said: “Debates are good for the enlightened, but you cannot use it to judge.
“Most of the viewers are not voters. You can make statistical judgment from it, but it doesn’t affect results or show voting patterns.
“How many market women or ordinary Nigerians tuned in for the debate?
“The elites who did are the ones crediting or discrediting the contestants based on their affiliations and these group of Nigerians hardly vote. Their criticisms and choices end on the internet.
“This is not to say that such debates are bad as it gives an idea of the performances of the present administration and an opportunity for the opposition parties to tell Nigerians who watch and the International community what they could have done differently.
“In this case, it was obvious that there is no alternative to the present administration, having watched the debate and realising that no other party has better plans than the APC.”
Johnson said that the achievements of the Buhari-led administration were being felt by Nigerians across the country and the administration have scored over 80 per cent in performance in less than four years.
“It is the elites that are exaggerating what is not. If you benchmark us today, you will see that our performance is so high in spite of the fact that we met the problems we are tackling.
“We met 16 years of rot, and we have tried to contain them and move the country forward. APC will take Nigeria, not only to the next level, but the desired level,” he said.
On the Wharf Apapa road gridlock, the former Commissioner of Works, said that the only solution was an alternative route.
“While there is need for expansion and serious rehabilitation of the road, only a dedicated route that will run from the port via Snake Island , through Mowe to the Lagos-Ibadan can resolve the gridlock.
“We have already identified this, but it is capital intensive. There must be financial backing to implement such projects,” he said.
Explaining why he resigned to run for election, GAJ said his people clamoured for it, saying “they want me as their representative based on my pedigree of having their interest at heart.
According to him, I also cater for them through my foundation which provides scholarships, support for widows and the elderly, among others.
Johnson said he would bring his experience to bear at the lower chamber of national assembly, if elected.