7th November, 2022
Peter Obi, Labour Party’s presidential candidate will not attend future presidential debates again if other major presidential candidates will not attend.
Doyin Okupe, Director General of the Obi-Datti Campaign Organisation, disclosed this in Abuja on Monday while briefing newsmen.
Okupe was pissed off that the PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar was not at the Arise TV’s Presidential debate, but had to send his running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa.
“Are we saying we will not debate if other candidates didn’t show up? Yes, we will not. We are setting the standard and the record straight.
“We are the ones that are coming to change the system. We cannot participate in the subversion of the system. That will totally contradict our position of creating a new Nigeria,” Okupe said.
According to him, if anybody wants to organise a debate and wants to bring people from the street, Obi would not be part of it.
“Whatever you say if it is agreeable to us and we all agree, we will keep to it and we will stand by it. We must start to do things properly from somewhere and we think it is now,” he stated.
Okupe added that “While our candidates Mr Peter Obi and our Vice Presidential Candidate Dr Yusuf Baba-Ahmed, are prepared at all times to engage other candidates, and the Nigerian people, in any duly scheduled debates, Townhall meetings and any other appearances as designated and scheduled this election season, they will only be prepared to mount the podium, with their peers in this presidential race, and not with any surrogates or diversionary delegated representation.”
He said this stand was taken with the utmost respect for the rights and desires of Nigerians to full and direct information, and first-hand responses and presentations, necessary for the best assessment of worthiness, capacity, capability, competence, character, integrity and disposition, as required to make the right choice in these coming elections.
At Sunday’s Arise TV debate, the presidential candidate of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso and that of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP), Kola Abiola were present.
The APC’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was absence and he explained why he was not at the debate.