The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has explained the rationale behind his refusal to participate in the 2019 presidential debate.
Alhaji Abubakar who was present at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel venue of the debate faulted his inability to participate in the debate on the absence of incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.
A statement made available to Naija News reads;
“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 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.”
Meanwhile three Presidential candidates, Oby Ezekwesili, a former Education Minister, who is the candidate of the ACPN, Kingsley Moghalu, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the candidate of the YPP and Fela Durotoye who is the candidate of the ANN were present at the venue of the debate.