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Thursday, 24 January 2019

The Nigerian Presidential Debate

In preparation for next month's general elections holding in Nigeria, Governorship, Vice-Presidential and Presidential debates have been held in Lagos and Abuja.

The debates served as a platform to hear the agenda of selected political parties with their respective aspirants as well as bringing them closer to the electorates whose votes they are canvassing for. They were aired live on national television.

Of particular interest was the Presidential debate which was organized by the Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) and held on Saturday 19th January 2019 at the prestigious Transcorp Hilton hotel in Abuja, Nigeria. It featured five aspirants from five political parties including :

  • Muhammadu Buhari, incumbent President and candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)
  • Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
  • Oby Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN)
  • Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Peoples Party (YPP)
  • Fela Durotoye of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN)

The drama, however, began when Atiku Abubakar; of the Peoples Democratic Party; who was just returning from a trip to the United States of America turned back at the debate venue on learning that President Muhammadu Buhari, candidate of the All Progressives Party, was absent at the debate. Meanwhile, the other three debaters were present and seated at the venue.

He later took to Twitter to explain his actions as well as apologise to Nigerians. Hear him:

In a swift reaction, the spokesman of the Muhammadu Buhari  Campaign Organisation Festus Keyamo issued a statement saying that the debate clashed with the President's hectic and busy schedule; explaining that the President was engaging Nigerians elsewhere at a town hall meeting after commissioning some projects in Plateau and Niger States.

Nigerians have been reacting to the actions and statements of these two political gladiators. Kindly share your reactions in the comment box below. Can we entrust our future to these men? Are their statements and/or apology acceptable?

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