Saturday’s presidential debate was a discredited event- Sowore

THE presidential candidate of African Action Congrss (AAC) ,Sowore Omoyele says the presidential debate held Saturday night in which he was excluded by the organisers, Nigerian Election Debate Group (NEDG) and Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), was a discredited debate.

Sowore told The ICIR in an interview on Sunday that the debate was discredited because candidates like him were not given the opportunity to participate.

“I have preference for a debate that is robust. My expectation was for all candidates to come for the debate especially the major political parties so that we can tell the story of their failure to the Nigerian people,” he said.


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“The people that I wanted to debate with ran away. They cannot defend their history, they can’t defend their programmes, and they can’t defend their characters. They ran away. But the good news is that whether they showed up or not, the debate took place it’s just that the debate was not a credible debate.”

His supporters protested his exclusion Saturday in front of Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, venue of the debate.

He also accused the organisers of the debate of shielding the already discredited Nigerian system by not allowing other candidates to be part of it.

According to him, the debate should be allowed to be handled by credible people.

“They are shielding the establishment. That’s what they are trying to do. And the people they are trying to shield refuse to show up and that was a discredited debate,” Sowore said.

He argued that there should be several debates, backing calls for a legislation that will make it compulsory for people who want to become Nigerian president to be forced to participate in at least three debates.

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“You can’t lead a country without talking or debating on the future of the country. People want to hear from you. These platforms are ways people can hear from you, clearly understand your manifesto, your agenda and sometimes even your character.”

“That was not achieved yesterday because the people who should have been there were not given the opportunity to be there and those who were probably ought not to be there were smuggled there so that they won’t challenge the status quo,” Sowore lamented.




     

     

    Speaking on the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari and the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, the AAA presidential candidate likened them to “two fathers who stole their kids’ dinner and that of NEDG/BON -recruited-to prevent the kids from holding them to account.”

    He said the “thieving fathers went missing from the dinner table and NEDG/BON had eggs on their faces.”

    Only Oby Ezekwezili, presidential candidate of  Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ANCP), Kingsley Moghalu presidential candidate of Young Progressive Party (YPP) and Fela Durotoye of Alliance for New Nigeria party took part in the debate,

    Organisers of the debate were not immediately available for comment on the exclusion of Sowore from the debate.

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