The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that president Buhari may not attend the presidential debates holding on January 19th.
The party made this position known on Sunday by sahing is nothing special in the presidential debate. saying its presidential candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, may choose not to attend if he feels there are other viable options with which he can engage Nigerians.
Speaking rhrough its National Publicity Secretary, the APC said it will look at several options through which President Buhari will engage Nigerians because there is no big deal if it believes debate is not one of such means.
He said, “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.
Also, spokesman for the Bihari campagn, Festus Keyamo refused to confirm if Buhari will be at the debates. He said: “The decision on whether to attend the debate has not been taken and it is a decision that is to be taken by the Presidential Campaign Council, PCC and it is not a decision that I can take.”
Also, Prince Tony Momoh, a former Minister of Information and APC chieftain, said:
“This is election period and all opportunity to explain what you have done must be taken advantage of. If for instance, the president is supposed to appear at the debate, I will advise he makes the difference by appearing.
“The one that was organised by NTA where the president and the vice president sat down to answer questions and then attend to issues that has to do with their tenure was very beautiful. That is different from debate where they ask you questions and ask you to respond within two minutes”.
“Buhari is not afraid of presidential debate. He was present during the debate of 2003 which he attended alongside the late Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, but the then President Olusegun Obasanjo did not show up. In all these debates held in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015, I doubt if any sitting president showed up. Goodluck Jonathan did not show up in 2011 and 2015, Obasanjo also did not show up. Buhari, however, has shown up in all the debates. I do not think the president should also do what has happened in the past where the incumbent president and the VP didn’t show up”, he said.