The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) says its presidential candidate, President Buhari, may choose not to attend the 2019 presidential debate slated for Saturday January 19th if he feels there are other viable options with which he can speak to Nigerians.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said this in an interview with Daily Independent. He said the APC will look at several options through which President Buhari will engage Nigerians, adding that there is no big deal if it believes debate is not one of such means.
“What is special about presidential debate? Presidential debate is one of the several platforms for presidential candidates to engage with the public. As a party, we will look at all the options and pick the ones that we can accommodate and those that will be impactful and effective in achieving our goals. We will be the ones to determine that. If presidential debate happens to be one of that, fine.
“If it wasn’t, then it is no big deal. There is nothing special about any debate. It is just one of the several platforms to engage the electorate” he said.
Meanwhile, The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to attend the upcoming presidential debate.
Speaking with DAILY POST, Chuks Ibegbu, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the organisation, said Buhari must not send a proxy to the debate.
He stated this while reacting to the decision of Buhari to handover his reelection campaign to a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu.
Buhari had disclosed his decision while inaugurating the APC Presidential Council, at the International Conference Centre, ICC, in Abuja, last week Monday.
Also, the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, had disclosed that Buhari may not attend the debate if he feels there are other viable options with which he can engage Nigerians.
However, Ibegbu stressed that Buhari must appear in person and not Tinubu because he, the president, needs to tell Nigerians what he has done since assuming office.
According to Ibegbu: “We can’t preempt anything because we are not part of Buhari’s programme but he has a moral duty to talk to his people on why he wants to rule for another four years.
“He has to come and talk to Nigerians on what he has done in the past four years and what he intends to do in the next four years, he can’t do it by proxy.
“If he doesn’t talk to Nigerians then he has no moral right to lead us. Tinubu or no Tinubu he must tell Nigerians in person what he has done in the last three and half years and it must not be by proxy.”