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Nigeria Election 2019: Buhari’s Absence Makes PDP’s Atiku Withdraw From Presidential Debate

Unic Press UK: The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (“APC”), President Muhammadu Buhari did not attend yesterday’s presidential debate 2019, reinforcing his stance during the 2015 event that he did not attend.

In a statement, the Director for Strategic Communications of President Buhari 2019 Presidential Campaign, Festus Keyamo SAN said:

“…the busy and hectic official and campaign schedules of Mr. President clashed with this programme. Today, Mr. President commissioned the Baro Inland Water Port in Niger State and campaigned in Niger and Plateau States where his time was over-stretched by the tumultuous and mammoth crowds in both States, (as seen by Nigerians on live television) and only returned to Abuja late this evening. Whilst we thank the organisers for the invitation, we want to assure Nigerians that we shall continue to hold these debate groups and Nigerians in high esteem which our candidate has demonstrated during past election debates when he honoured similar invitations. Nigerians will also recall that a few weeks ago, our Vice-Presidential candidate, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, also attended the debate organized by the same organisations.”

Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (“PDP”), who arrived on time at the venue of the debate with the hope of debating the other candidates, including President Muhammadu Buhari, has issued a statement regarding his decision to withdraw his participation, squarely blaming Buhari.

“We came here for a Presidential debate, not a candidacy debate, and I, Atiku Abubakar can not 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 apologise to all Nigerians, my fellow candidates and the moderator for the APC Presidential Candidate’s absence in this debate. His non-appearance is a slight on ALL of us and our democracy. 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.”

Reactions to Buhari’s absence; and Atiku’s withdrawal despite being at the venue 

Nigeria General Election 2019 would hold on Saturday, the 16th February 2019, from 08:00 A M (Lagos time).


Ifedimma Onwugbufor views as shared on Facebook

Ladies and gentlemen,

What is the definition of the word debate?

As a noun, it means a formal discussion on a particular matter in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward and which usually ends with a vote.

As a dynamic verb, it means to argue about (a subject), especially in a formal manner.
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Having these basic definitions at the back of our minds, maybe we can rationalize the actions of the two major contenders of the February 2019 general elections.
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First off, Buhari is old.

He is an ex military officer. They are usually haughty. You don’t expect any courtsey from military men who are not sufficiently educated formally.

Buhari has planned to rig. There’s no point speaking dogo turenchi.

Buhari is a naturally bitter person. He never anticipated that Atiku would have the audacity to be his next sore contender.

He is not eloquent. And he knew that even the least of his opponents will come there prepared.

Buhari didn’t participate in the 2015 debate, yet he won. Pray tell, why he should attend this in his power of incumbency?

We all should have known he won’t be there.
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Atiku knows his onion.

He came prepared. Yet he knew the old dude won’t show up.

He already made up his mind on what he’ll do, and he backed out.

If the father of the house is not present at a gathering where his homestead will be auctioned, his sons may as well not turn up.

You don’t debate with the air or chairs. If it is called a debate, then everyone should be there.
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The smaller masquerades who know they are not winning even in their communities have planned to speak grammar.

They must be noticed.

So…

We can as well scrap the debate. It’s not working. Let people plan to win, and actually win.

In saner climes, Buhari would have lost half of his supporters.

I respect Atiku’s decision. He doesn’t want to talk in the air.

It is only a mad man that debates with an invisible person.

I am impressed with his handlers.

The presidential debate is optional. I hope we are all clear on this.

Don’t blame Atiku. Blame your president who is afraid or prideful to face his opponents.

Nigerians, go and brandish your PVCs.

The fight is rough.

 

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