Peter Obithe presidential candidate for the Labor Party, will no longer attend the debates without the participation of candidates from other parties.
This is exposed in a statement on Monday night by Doyin Okupe, director-general of the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC).
Atiku Abubakar and Ahmed Tinubu were noticeably absent from the recently concluded Arise TV Presidential Town Hall debate.
The big issue: the PCC noted that losing presidential candidates in debates has become a growing trend in the 2023 electioneering campaign.
- The council said, “We make it clear now that these repeated acts are no longer acceptable to the Labor Party Presidential Campaign Organization.
- “While our candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, and the vice presidential candidate, Dr. Yusuf Baba-Ahmed, are ready at all times to join other candidates and the Nigerian people in any appropriate scheduled debates, town hall meetings, and any other appearances as designated and scheduled, they are only ready to mount the podium, with their peers in this presidential race, and not with any surrogates or diversionary delegated representation.
- “This position is taken with utmost respect for the rights and desires of Nigerians to full and direct information, and first-hand answers and presentations necessary for the best assessment of competence, capacity , capability, competence, character, integrity and disposition, as necessary to make the right choice in this upcoming election,” they said.
They added that at the August 22 Nigerian Bar Association Annual Bar Conference and Nigerians at the epic occasion, and the September Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry event, all the candidates were invited but, only Obi and some others other invited candidates appeared in person. .
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“Again, on Sunday, November 6, at the First AriseTV Town Hall Meeting, Obi and some other candidates attended in person, not the presidential candidates of the two major parties who attended in person.
“The PDP vice presidential candidate is allowed to represent the presidential candidate. Obi and the Presidential Campaign Organization totally condemned this indifference to the voters and the people of these absentee presidential candidates.
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“The decision to present oneself as a presidential candidate does not begin and end with procurement, submission of forms, and certification as a candidate by INEC.
“It also introduces the candidate to a high degree of responsibility to present himself for open discussions and explanations of his policies, visions, and plans for the people to make in a better understanding and will produce an appropriate choice of voters in the upcoming elections.
“Anything short of simple, transparent, and honest adherence to this basic contract of responsibility falls short of standards of fair competition and engagement. It can only be interpreted as a subtle avoidance of the desired human interface” they added.
For the record: The APC said Tinubu did not attend the debate with Asiwaju Tinubu’s busy and hectic campaign schedules will not allow him to honor all the invitations of various radio and TV networks,” hit is our decision that he does not start with one TV station and later ignore others.”
Editing by Cees Harmon