Ezekwesili, Moghalu, Durotoye seek ‘political disruption’ as Buhari, Atiku shun debate

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The presidential candidates of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Alliance for New Democracy (ANN), and Young Progressives Party (YPP) have called for a paradigm change in the Nigerian political sector.

Obiageli Ezekwesili of ACPN, Fela Durtotoye of ANN, and Kingsley Moghalu of YPP, made this call at Saturday’s debate organised by the Nigerian Election Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).

Though five candidates were selected by NEDG and BON, two were noticeably absent and these were the presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The absence of President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC and Atiku Abubakar of the PDP further strengthened the arguments of the other three candidates who blasted the flagbearers of the two major parties in the country, for shunning what many Nigerians consider the mother of all political debates.

No prior notice had been given to the organisers of the debate by the camp of the APC candidate, President Buhari regarding his absence at the debate.

On his part, Alhaji Abubakar arrived at the venue of the debate in Abuja, but just as the debate was about to start, he refused to join the other three candidates who had already been called to the rostrum by the moderator.

The Buhari campaign organization released a statement saying that the president was not at the debate because he had already attended a live town hall last Wednesday. On his part, Mr Abubakar, who was at the venue of the debate but refused to mount the podium, said there was no point participating in the debate if Mr Buhari will not be attending.

In their absence, Oby Ezekwesili; Fela Durotoye; Kingsley Moghalu, took to the stage to tell Nigerians of their plans for the country if elected president in the election in February.

The candidates, who are all political outsiders as this is the first time they are seeking elective positions, kicked-off the debate with gusto.

They told Nigerians why they were qualified to govern the country and what they were going to do differently if elected to lead Africa’s most populous nation.

Though the candidates agreed on the “need” for a political disruption, they had divergent plans for Nigerians as contained in their manifestoes.

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