The three Presidential candidates attending the debate organised by the Nigeria Elections Debate Group and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria, on Saturday took turns lambasting President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party for shunning the debate.
A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressives Party; a former Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili of the Allied Peoples Congress of Nigeria; and motivational speaker, Mr. Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria, described Buhari and Atiku as old men who lacked the ability to answer questions.
The moderator, Mark Sugar, asked the three candidates to react to the absence of the two frontline candidates.
Ezekwesili started by saying Buhari and Atiku had announced their exit from the Presidential race by their action.
She said, “I am not surprised they are not here. They have simply announced their exit from the governance. I think it is important that we acknowledge there is a political class that needs to fade away from our country because the idea that the will of the people to be subjected to the whims and caprices of our politicians should be a total anomaly.
“Today as we focus on the competitive ideas that will develop country if the two dominant parties cared about our people, they would come here to contest ideas on how they will fix Nigeria.”
Durotoye, who spoke next, said the APC and the PDP are two sides of the same coin and asked Nigerians to ensure that the two parties never get into power again.
“This shows that the future is here and old things have passed away. I must say to Nigerians that pride always comes before a fall and every time you feel you don’t need to tell Nigerians what you want to do, it means that you are not there to serve them in the first place but you’re there to rule them.
“We have had 20 years of rulership and rulers do not explain to their subjects what they are going to do. They don’t owe it to them.”
Also speaking, Moghalu said the two men lacked the ability to answer questions properly.
He said, “I am not surprised that the candidates of the APC and the PDP have decided to turn their backs on Nigerians and say the people never meant much in their eyes.
“The reason they are not here are first, arrogance because they believe the people of Nigeria have no voice and no choice and that you will always come back to them. They believe they have trapped you and we believe it is time to send them a message.
“The second reason they are not here is because they cannot answer the questions. It is very simple. They belong to the old recycled politicians that want to return to power with a sense of entitlement but not a record of performance.”
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