President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) failed to participate in the 2019 presidential debates organised by the Nigerian Election Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON).
The debate was held at Sheraton Hotel in Abuja and broadcast live on Channels TV on Saturday, January 19.
The debate was scheduled to feature five presidential candidates; the candidates of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Young Progressives Party (YPP).
However, only three presidential candidates, a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kingsley Moghalu of the YPP); a former minister of education, Oby Ezekwesili of the APCN; and Fela Durotoye of the ANN, attended the debate.
While Buhari President Buhari attributed his absence at the presidential debate to his “hectic schedule”, Atiku who actually showed up at Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja, the venue of the debate, said he decided to pull out because of President Buhari’s absence.
He challenged President Buhari to another contest.
However, Nigerians, reacting on social media platforms, were not convinced by the reasons given by President Buhari and the former vice president and blasted the duo for disrespecting the electorate.
Subsequently, Legit.ng conducted a poll on social media, Facebook and Twitter, asking Nigerians if another debate should be organised solely for the two leading presidential candidates.
The result of the poll shows that the majority of Nigerians online want another debate organised for both President Buhari and Atiku.
Of the 13,052 Nigerians that voted on Facebook, 65% said they want another debate for Buhari and Atiku while 35% saw no reason for another debate.
On Twitter, 61% said there should be another debate for the two main presidential candidates while 39% said there is no need for another debate.
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Meanwhile, another poll earlier conducted by Legit.ng on social media indicates that a good number of Nigerians may not vote for the presidential candidates who failed to show up at the debate.
Of the 7,577 Facebook users that participated in the poll, 64% said they will not vote any presidential candidate that is absent from the debate while 36% said they will go ahead to vote a candidate of their choice even if the candidate fails to participate in the debate.
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Nigerians rip Buhari, Atiku apart over absence at presidential debate | Legit TV