On the news of the Nigerian Presidential Debate which held on Saturday, the 19th of January, 2019 at 7pm, streams of reactions flew by judging from the absence of the “DEFENDING CHAMPION”, President Muhammadu Buhari and his prime counterpart, Abubakar Atiku. Also, a wide range of expressions passed on the perception and intent of the rest of the candidates; here are a few of them:
Atiku’s Withdrawal from the #Presidentialdebate2019 is a Tactical Masterstroke–A THREAD I’ve read commentaries that aver that Atiku’s decision to bail out of the #2019Debate in protest against PMB’s decision not to participate in it was a tactical error. I disagree. Here is why.
- The presidential debate is designed to be a match–or, if you like, a push and pull– between the defending champion, i.e., Buhari, and contenders to the title he holds, i.e., Atiku, Moghalu, Madam Oby, Sowore, and others. If the defending champion declines to thrown his hat into
- the ring, the entire match becomes pointlessly self-injurious to the challengers. In other words, it would have been a fatal strategic and tactical error for Atiku to partake in a potentially bruising contest with other challengers while the defending championing sits pretty
- somewhere unhurt. I’ve read other people suggest that Atiku, being Buhari’s closest challenger, should have used the opportunity of the debate to sell himself to Nigerians. Well, that’s what #NgTheCandidates town hall chat is there for. You don’t sell your agenda by making
- yourself vulnerable to potentially deathly blows from other challengers who don’t hold the title you are fighting for. Instead of pillorying Atiku for not taking part in the debate, we should question the other candidates for agreeing to participate in a meaningless dueling match
- with each other when the defending champion who holds the crown they want to grab chose to run away. Their performance in the debate would only be meaningful if it’s measured against the performance of the defending champion. From a tactical point of view, I also don’t blame
- Buhari for refusing to show up for the debate. His mental and physical infirmities are now on full display and would be exposed even more in the unscripted, back-and-forth format of a debate. The cabal that minds him already deeply regrets allowing him to take part in Thursday’s
- town-hall chat because his cringe-worthy performance at the event dramatized his dementia and aggrandized his unfitness for the job of president. His campaign trail mishaps aren’t helping, either. Another bruise from a debate would seal his fate before Election Day.
- In a tragic irony, Buhari and Atiku are less qualified for the presidency than all the other contenders are, yet it is either of them that will emerge president in February. That’s why both candidates are more guarded and strategic in their choices than the rest.
Anyone who observed the #Presidentialdebate2019 and didn’t cry for Nigeria is not Nigerian. Who did we offend as a country? Can’t we have people like Moghalu, Durotoye and Obiezekwesili (pardon my spellings) as our main presidential candidates? Let us retire Buhari and Atiku.
Am I the only one who noticed all the people who spoke at the #Presidentialdebate2019 didn’t mention the national assembly once? They didn’t even know the federal government isn’t responsible for primary education!! And they want to lead the country?