Why Buhari Should Participate In Presidential Debate, By LP
• Agbaje, Olayinka Seek Support For Jonathan, PDP
THE Labour Party (LP) Saturday gave reasons why the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Gen Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) should participate in the planned debate for candidates in the upcoming February 14 elections.
The party said the APC candidate should take part in the debate so as not to cast doubts on his ability to administer the nation.
It should be recalled that Buhari had said he would not participate in the scheduled debates being organized by the Nigeria Election Debate Group (NEDG) for 14 presidential candidates and their running mates.
The APC candidate had alleged bias because, according to him, the organisers of the debate were Federal Government Agencies and Parastatals.
The NEDG, in reaction, said it remained an independent group with the sole intention of creating a level playing field for Nigerians to listen to all the candidates and decide for themselves.
In a statement issued in Lagos by its national secretary, Mr. Kayode Ajulo, the LP pointed out that the debate would help put issues in proper perspective, devoid of propaganda.
“The excuse given by the APC candidate that the organisers were government parastatals and agencies is not tenable because INEC too, by law, is a government agency.
“It then follows that if Buhari should boycott the debate, then he ought to also boycott the election, since it is being organised by a federal agency. The expectations of Nigerians and the international community will be dashed if Buhari should stay away from the debate,” the party said.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in Lagos state, Mr.
Jimi Agbaje, has told supporters of the party and those who believe in the Transformation Agenda of President Jonathan not to worry about the propaganda of the rival All Progressives Congress (APC), as the PDP will still retain power at the centre after February 14.
While admonishing them to be violent free in the coming elections, Agbaje, in a media chat, promised to operate a system that will not turn his deputy into a rubber stamp.
A member of the PDP elders’ forum in Lagos, Chief Amos Olayinka, also charged the people to vote massively for President Jonathan and his vice, Namadi Sambo. “For continuity sake, let us support all our candidates, as the APC has nothing to offer,” he said.