2019: Presidency Uncertain If Buhari Will Partake In Debate?
Uncertainty clouds President Muhammadu Buhari's participation in the 2019 presidential debate, as the Presidency is non-committal about Buhari's participation in the exercise.
The Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) had announced December 14, 2018 and January 19, 2019 as dates for the vice presidential and presidential debates respectively.
The event which will be beamed live across the over 100-member BON stations will hold at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
Chairman of the group, Mr John Momoh and Chief Executive Officer of Channels Television, disclosed that efforts were made in the past to have a Debate Commission, expressing regret that after passing Second Reading, the bill was stepped down.
The NEDG continues to make a case for a law that would compel candidates to participate in election debates.
Nigerians on social media have criticized President Buhari for failing to show up in previous presidential debates, as a story went viral that the President had delegated Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to debate on his behalf.
Only on Sunday, the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to a live, one-on-one debate with its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on critical sectors of the nation.
While carpeting the President for having a phobia for debates, the party challenged him to "choose a venue, date and time convenient to him to face our candidate before a neutral panel" for the debate.
Also, PDP senator and Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce as well as former aide to Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, had tweeted the #BuhariMustDebateAtiku challenge.
But speaking on a live television programme on Channels Television - on whether his principal would participate in the debate, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina could only say: "Well, we will cross that bridge when we get to it".
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