The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to a fresh presidential debate.
His challenge came after his decision to boycott the presidential debate organised by the Nigeria Election Debate Group and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria on Saturday in Abuja as a result of the absence of Buhari.
His words: “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.”
Atiku had declared in his reason for boycotting the debate: “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.
“Afterall, 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.”