The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has shunned the highly publicised Presidential Debate billed to hold tonight because of President Muhammadu Buhari’s absence at the event.
The former vice president who is the main challenger to President Buhari’s re-election bid under the All Progressives Congress (APC), apologised to Nigerians and challenged “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.”
Atiku stated: “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 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 and with all apologies to my Fellow 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.”
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