OPINION: Nigerians react to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s resignation from the January 19 Presidential debate

The much anticipated presidential debate that was slated for January 19th, 2019 did take place yesterday as scheduled, some candidates showed up while others didn’t. Those who showed up were Kingsley Moghalu, Fela Durotoye and Obi Ezekwesili, and they performed very good, but those who didn’t, which were Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar gave some flimsy excuses which has led to many unhealthy reactions from Nigerians and many who have been declaring their support for president Muhammadu Buhari of the APC and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP are now redirecting their support for candidates who showed up, declaring to vote them as well.

With the trends of epileptic governance and leadership that has erupted Africa for decades and up till now, It is not just important for people vying for elective offices all across Africa to debate and tell the electorates what they will do if given the mandates, it is quite necessary. But the question is, when candidates (participants) refuse to show up for the debate for whatever reason whether useless or useful, and they had already outlined their plans for what they will do when they get to office and are going around campaigning with this plans, should we be disappointed, get angry and threaten to give our votes to those who showed up and spoke nicely or eloquently?

Leadership in its entirety is not premised on the ability to speak nicely or eloquently to convince the people to vote for you, even though it’s one of the requirements needed. After all Laswel of 1919 has said politics is about “who gets what, when and how,” which has to do largely on persuasive power of talking people’s conscience to your own favour, but let’s not forget that David Eastern of 1958 has also said “it is the authoritative allocation of values,” which has to do with the main work (the real business). So then, should we get convinced with the persuasive power of nice and eloquent talking which is hung on the former of who gets what, when and how, and sacrifice the later which is hung on the authoritative allocation of values, where the main tax lies?

Now, don’t quote me wrong to mean that I am trying to convince you to vote or not vote in favour of those who don’t show up for debates nor vote or not vote for those who shows up for debates, no that’s not the intention of this piece. All I want is for you to maintain your glow on whom you have hitherto believed in his or her plan to make Nigeria regain her glory and respect, and become what she ought to be. Because right now whether you agree with me or not Nigeria is in a very bad state and needs urgent rehabilitation and reconstruction in the hands of a president who’s competent in business, diligent in service delivery, prudent in spending, calculative in job gains, focus in development, sound in health, mind control and body, smart in international relations with other nations states, able to formulate policies that will not just return Nigeria to her position as Africa’s largest economy and puts her back in the comity of the world’s economic growth and competitiveness but also removes Nigeria from this undeserving position of the world’s headquarters of poverty.

These are my thoughts for Nigeria and its the reason I chose Alhaji Atiku Abubakar GCON, The former Vice President. I believe he has this qualities I’ve mentioned above, I believe he can lead an all inclusive government that will reunite Nigeria and puts her back in the world stage for upwards development, one which attracts foreign and direct investment and creates jobs for our teaming youths. I believe Atiku Abubakar can really and truly get Nigeria working again, he can proffer solutions for the middle belt on the farmers vs herders crisis and reduce the amount of insecurity and killings in the Northeast.

Ladies and Gentlemen, yes Atiku Abubakar refused to participate in the debate yesterday night on the reason that Muhammadu Buhari his other opponent who’s currently leading a government we all have condemned to be the worst nightmare ever that has befallen us in the history of Nigeria, refused to show up as well. According to Alhaji Atiku, there are pressing questions or acquisitions rather, about the led Muhammadu Buhari’s administration which he (Atiku) intended to direct or point to him (Buhari) to answer for the people to hear just like that of the Vice presidential debate in December last year, where some points from Mr. Peter Obi and other participants was mostly redirected as questions to Prof. Osinbajo to answer. Alhaji Atiku said he doesn’t believe in attacking an opponent in absent in a debate, specially that Muhammadu Buhari is the current president who really needs to answer questions on the mandate given him for almost four years now. What he’s done, doing now and intend to do more if given another chance, and by this excuse/excuses Atiku Abubakar disappointed many of us because we felt he should have yet mounted the podium and answer questions for us to listen.

But hey, I would have acted same like Atiku Abubakar. Yes I would have, and truth is I expected the other participants to have walked out of that hall like Atiku. Buhari is not a special god, and if any of you thinks like me that debates should or must be one of the requirements needed to get to Aso Rock then we must all call on our National Assembly members to make it a law and institutionalize it so no one can dodge from it again. If you see nothing wrong with president Muhammadu Buhari arranging a debate on NTA for candidates and their running mates to appear so he can have Osinbajo help him answer questions which he yet flopped woefully, but can’t appear in the one organized by Nigerians to answer questions and tell them how capable and fits he is to take Nigeria to his next level, and you condemn Atiku Abubakar who hurriedly left all he was doing in far America to attend the debate, for not debating anymore because his main opponent didn’t show up then you are the one we should be surprised about.

I congratulate you all for your nominations and choices of candidates who impressed you with good talking last night, and I respect your decision to the core. After all this is what democracy is all about, however, I still stand with Atiku Abubakar, he remains my choice candidate for president come February 16th.
Nigeria will be great again!!!

Mark Idrah

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