The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) , former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, was was disappointed at the presidential debate holding at the Trabscorp Hilton, Abuja as the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari did not honour the invitation.
The debate is organised Nigeria Election Debate Group (NEDG) and Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).
Candidates present at the debate, were Kingsley Moghalu, Oby Ezekwesili and of Fela Durotoye of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) and Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) respectively.
Atiku, who arrived the venue of the debate at about 7.pm, told journalists that he would make himself availiable for the debate, if Buhari attended.
He said: ” We came here for a Presidential debate, not a candidacy debate, and I, Atiku Abubakar, cannot challenge or question an administration where the man at the helm of the affairs of the nation is not present to defend himself or his policies. After all, you cannot shave a man’s head in his absence. I do not believe in attacking a man who is not here to defend himself. As a leader and former vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, let me first
” Secondly, with all due respect to my fellow candidates, Fela Durotoye, Oby Ezekwesili, Kingsley Moghalu and to the moderator , Mark Sugar , and with apologies to all Nigerians here and at home expecting an interesting debate, I regret that I will not be able to go on with this debate due to President Buhari’s absence.
” I however , challenge President Buhari to choose a date and time for a debate where he will be present and I will be there, hopefully with the other candidates as well. Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria ” ,he concluded.