WE WON'T BEG BUHARI, RIBADU, SHEKARAU -PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council has said it would not appeal to the presidential candidates of major opposition parties who threatened to shun the presidential debate being organised by Nigerian Election Debates Group in conjunction with Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).
General Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and Governor Ibrahim Shekarau, the Presidential candidates of the Congress for Progressive Change, the Action Congress of Nigeria and the All Nigerian Peoples Party respectively had on Thursday taken a decision not to attend any presidential debate organised by the BON and as at last night, they still insisted there was no going back..
In a joint statement signed by their media aides, Yinka Odumakin, Mallam Ibrahim Modibbo and Mallam Yau'Sule, for General Buhari, Ribadu and Shekarau, respectively, the trio predicated their decisions on what they called disdain for their persons and insensitivity to Nigerians by the PDP presidential candidate and incumbent president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who had shunned penultimate Friday's presidential debates organised by NN24TV, cable television station.
President Jonathan, according to the statement, declined to attend the last presidential debate without giving any reason for his absence despite the fact that his representative, Dr. Doyin OKupe, attended all meetings arranged to deliberate on the programme organised by the organizers, the NN24TV.
But reacting yesterday to the position of the presidential candidates of the major opposition parties, Director-General of the PCC, Ambassador Sarkin Tafida, declared that the PDP would not be bothered as the parties and their presidential candidates, who were canvassing for votes would have to explain to the Nigerian electorate. '
'Well, we expect them to attend. Why, because this debate is being organised by a Nigerian outfit – the Voice of Nigeria, and other major media houses and I think, since they are fighting to get votes from Nigerians they should also be ready and upcoming to partake in today's (Monday) and Wednesday's debates. PDP doesn't need to reach out to them directly because there is a body that is organising this thing and we expect that they must have reached out to them but as far as our Party is concerned the presidential candidate, that is Mr. president and his running mate, that is the vice- president, they are ready to attend this particular event.'
'Well, we would honour the invitation, we would come and if they don't come, it is their own decision. They must have a reason but I don't think the reason they would give would be strong enough to be acceptable to Nigerians''.
Tafida further submitted that having taken time to attend the presidential debates organised by a relatively unknown media outfit, the CPC, ACN and the ANPP presidential candidates should deem it fit to honour invitation for a programme, being put in place by prominent Nigerian organisation.
'They have attended the one organised by an outfit, which, to God who made me, I didn't know of the existence of that channel until the day it was advertised. I have a DSTV in my house since it was first introduced in this country but I have never known NNT24 until after or during the debate. But if they chose to attend that one and not to attend this one, it is their own choice, they should be able to explain that to the Nigerian public.'
from whom they are looking for votes.''