The refusal by the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, to participate in the proposed presidential debate organised by the Nigeria Electoral Debate Group (NEDG), has been described as not only an act of cowardice to his supporters across the country but an indication of his shallow mindedness about the ideals of statecraft.
According to Comrade Oluwasanmi Solomon of the Arise Africa Youth Coalition, Buhari’s non participation in the debate showed that he was scared to expose his ineptitude and a huge disappointment to his teeming supporters which will lower their morale particularly on the numerous controversies surrounding his academic qualification. He said, it was only proper that the former Head of State gave the electorates an opportunity to dig into his intellectual capacity which is more important than the face saving public relations being carried out by his image laundering team.
He alleged that it was rather unfortunate that the APC Presidential candidate who has been accused of not possessing the required academic qualification to contest the elections will shy away from the only opportunity to prove his detractors wrong.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, Comr. Oluwasanmi who stated that the people were the most important ingredient in a democracy, advised Buhari to go back to his handlers to understudy the tenets of democracy.
“Democracy the world over is anchored on openness and accountability, which is totally different from military government, as such an aspiring leader who cannot confront the masses to outline his blueprint on developing the nation’s economy; respond to questions that will better the lot of the people cannot not be given the mandate to preside over the commonwealth of the nation.”
“It is rather unfortunate that the General is yet to understand how democracy works. This system is about the people, and the peoples’ decision should be paramount. The people have asked for a debate, Buhari should oblige them to show how people-oriented he will be as president”. He said.
The civil rights activist further berated the APC for supporting their candidate in his refusal to participate in the debate. He noted that the change longed for, was one that will carry the people along and not a change that will be anchored on a cabal or person.
While challenging the party, Oluwasanmi called on the APC to prove their popular claim of being a body of intellectuals by coming out to face Jonathan during the debate, saying the debate will not only put paid to Buhari’s certificate saga but also expose his intellectual capability.