After the presidential candidate for the governing APC party opted to skip the Nigerian presidential debate held for presidential flag bearers of political parties before next year’s elections, there was criticism in Nigeria.
Four major candidates were invited to the event organized on Sunday by the Centre for Democracy and Development and Arise TV station, with Bola Tinubu being one of them.
In the discussion at the Nigerian presidential debate, Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the NNPP discussed some of their positions on the economy, national security, corruption, and other issues.
The absence of Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his running mate has been a topic of conversation, though.
Many Nigerians have criticized him on social media for what they claim is his avoidance of questions about important national issues and matters pertaining to his politics.
Festus Keyamo, a campaign spokesman for Mr. Tinubu, defended his boss’ absence from the Nigerian presidential debate by claiming that “many radio and TV networks in Nigeria have indicated interests to host such debates” and that the candidate would not be “making selective appearances” on some networks while ignoring others.
Mr. Keyamo emphasized Mr. Tinubu would not be able to accept all of the invitations to debate due to his “hectic campaign schedules.”
The flagbearer of the ruling party is not participating in debates alongside other contenders “Speaking to Nigeria directly” through town hall events.
The answer provided by the Tinubu campaign staff does not seem to have convinced many Nigerians; others claim that he was avoiding the Nigerian presidential debate because he could not stand its rigor and scrutiny.
Ifeanyi Okowa, Atiku Abubakar’s running partner, stood in for him in place of the main opposition PDP candidate.
President Muhammadu Buhari is serving his second and last term in office, and Nigeria, the largest democracy in Africa, will decide on his successor in February of 2023.