• Yagboyaju D Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan
  • SALAAM Abdussobur Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan


Election, Debates, Nigeria, America


The study investigated the role of election debates and their impact on the Nigerian political culture, using the American experience as a comparison. The paper contended that election debates are very central to the American democratic culture and that because the Nigerian space has not promoted election debates, the anomalies and irregularities associated with elections in Nigeria, which have led to the global conclusion that Nigeria lacks credible elections, will not abate. Using Benoit’s Functional Theory on election debates, the paper argued that election debates can promote political participation, impact on political behaviour and eventually enhance the credibility of Nigerian elections. The paper recommended the institutionalization of election debates as a major program on the election timetable while a Nigerian model of a properly legislated bipartisan organization, independently funded but domiciled under the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) be set up to manage election debates.


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