First, the media approaches their subject of interest. Or vice versa. Either way, a deal is struck about time and scope of the interview. The interview could be done at the subject’s place of choice, could be his or her house, a civic center, or at the studio of the media outlet.

After the modalities have been cranked out, a likely format of the interview questions are sent to the subject for his perusal. At that instance, he may agree to answer all of the questions or some of the questions depending on their sensitivity, national security concerns, etcetera. After that, it’s now left for the TV station concerned to fix the date of the interview and recording.

For most politicians that may not feel adequately confident about a media spotlight, a pre-recorded interview is the way to go. There, they feel at home to give answers to a range of questions that have been forwarded in advance, questions whose answers they have prepared themselves. 

So the occasion is nothing like a live interview where questions are unpredictable and where the answers are open for instant fact-checking.

In other words, a pre-recorded interview doesn’t carry as much weight as a live interview. So when a politician is pre-recorded, you immediately know he’s not prepared to tell the viewing public what he knows about tough questions. 

On this campaign season, Peter Obi of the Labor Party has virtually been interviewed live on Channels, Arise TV, AIT, you name it. 

But his opponents with so called superstructure criss-crossing the length and breadth of Nigeria have hardly done so. 

A few days ago, Abubakar Atiku did a pre-recorded interview with Arise TV that leaves much to be desired. 

At the interview, a hard hitting Rufai was not there. And Reuben Abati was a lackluster interviewer. Atiku got softball questions that clearly were designed to give him a platform to play hanky-panky, handy-dandy for all we care.

So here’s the challenge going forward. Atiku and Tinubu should as a matter of national concern conduct live interviews at any one of their chosen media outlets, radio, television or newspaper. 

Peter Obi ‘who has no structure’ has done a dozen. 

Secondly, the campaign organization of each party should start talking about a televised national debate as soon as possible. 

It’s about time the presidential candidates showcase their depth of knowledge, their intellectual acumen and their worldview. 

Not only that, this is the time for them to start answering questions that they have no foreknowledge of. 

This is the time they must let the voting public know how presidential they are. 

Enough of giving the heavy lifting to paid PR hacks and floozies.


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