· NFD Berates their Absence
By Nseobong Okon-Ekong
The Presidential candidate of the People’s Trust (PT), also known as the Third Force Movement, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim has challenged the presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar to a presidential debate following the duo’s absence at the Nigeria Election Debate Group and/Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria organized presidential debate.
According to Olawepo-Hashim, “the Nigerian electorate deserve to scrutinize the candidates and programmes of the two behemoth that have come to be known as the “two evils of Nigerian politics. Their absence under whatever excuse(s) shows their contempt for the electorates.
The PT presidential candidate however, congratulated the candidates of the ACPN, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili; YPP, Mr. Kinsley Moghalu and ANN, Mr. Fela Durotoye for their brilliant performance at the debate. “The three candidates advertised to the world, a teaser of what stuff new generation of political leaders are made off”.
Mr. Olawepo-Hashim however, called on the NEDG/BON to organize another debate to include People’s Trust, the biggest of the newly registered political parties that had been unfairly excluded. “We have complained about this in the past, a new debate will be a good way to cure the debate platform of that error. There is no problem in making a mistake by excluding us, but it will be dishonourable not to seize a good opportunity to correct your error”.
The PT presidential candidate further called on the organizers to also include promising politicians like Omoyele Sowore and other who may be interested in the next round of the debate. According him, it is fundamental not to allow the APC and PDP escape public scrutiny.
Mr. Hashim emphasized it will not matter to them if APC is represented by another person other than the President ,Buhari, who obviously is unfit and does not have the presence of mind for long conversation.
“We are persuaded now that we can excuse Mr. Buhari; all we want is to scrutinize the APC record at a proper presidential debate. Nigerians have a right to that debate,” he said.
Meanwhile, the presidential candidate of the Nigeria for Democracy (NFD), Dr. Asukwo Mendie Archibong has berated the absence of the President Buhari and Alhaji Atiku at the debate, while saying that he and other interested presidential candidates were unjustly excluded from the debate. He also challenged the APC and PDP presidential candidates to square to him to field questions from Nigerians on their programmes.