President Muhammadu Buhari has attributed his absence at the ongoing presidential debate to his hectic schedule.

Of the five candidates who were supposed to partake in the exercise, Buhari was the only one who was absent at Transcorp Hotel, Abuja, venue of the exercise, on Saturday.

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had withdrawn from the debate, citing the absence of Buhari.

He had challenged the president to another debate, describing his absence as a slight on Nigerians.

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But speaking through Festus Keyamo, spokesman of his campaign, Buhari said  “the busy and hectic official and campaign schedules of Mr. President clashed with this programme”

He said President commissioned the Baro Inland Water Port in Niger State and campaigned in Niger and Plateau States where his time was over-stretched by the tumultuous and mammoth crowds in both states.

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