President Muhammadu Buhari and Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, have shunned the ongoing presidential debate holding in Abuja.
Only three other candidates, Oby Ezekwwesili, Kingsley Moghalu, and Fela Durotoye, are present at the presidential debate scheduled for five people.
Atiku had earlier, on Saturday, arrived from the United States of America with the hope of participating in the much awaited debate but his party directed him to shun the debate since the president had also boycotted the debate.
Many were not surprised by Buhari’s absence at the debate. Recall that, in 2015, the president had also backed off from the debate when he was the main contender to ex President Goodluck Jonathan.
Sources suggest that Buhari deliberately avoided the debate for fear of humiliation by the three other contenders, who are younger and more vibrant.
The absence of the two major contenders was a big blow to the organisers as the live broadcast interview lost its expected million viewers who were keen on watching Atiku Abubakar and President Muhammadu Buhari at the debate.
The presidential debate is thus coming after the running mates of all the five presidential candidates participated in the vice presidential debates last year, December.
Peter Obi, the PDP running mate to Atiku Abubakar, performed brilliantly well at the debate and also tackled Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on several issues related to the economy.