The Nigeria Elections Debate Group has been forced to call off its scheduled debate between contenders in the Edo governorship race after the PDP’s candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki, announced a sudden pull-out from the debate citing unpreparedness, according to inside reports.
The debate, previously scheduled for Wednesday, September 2, with the candidate of the APC, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, amongst the first to confirm his attendance, will no longer hold.
It was the first of debates meant to showcase the contenders, particularly candidates of the two major parties, before the electorates to speak directly to their manifesto and entertain difficult questions on their intentions and the viability of their plans for office.
Reacting to Governor’s sudden pull-out, the APC says Mr. Godwin Obaseki is ashamed of his poor records and is unable to defend it without first perfecting his script of half-truths and lies.
In a statement by Mr. John Mayaki, the Chairman of the Edo APC media campaign council, the APC said Mr. Godwin Obaseki is terrified of the prospect of being confronted with his failures in four years, hence his ‘cowardly pull-out’ on the grounds of lack of preparation.
He said: “What we have here is the pathetic case of a man ashamed of his own abysmal records in office and unable to defend it.”
“Incumbents who performed in office seize any opportunity to showcase their achievements to the people, especially in national debates meant to deepen the democratic culture and offer electorates a front-row seat at an event where those seeking their votes are made to answer difficult questions on why they are deserving of the office they seek.”
“But in the case of Mr. Godwin Obaseki, having failed in all ramifications, most notably his central promise of creating 200,000 jobs, he is playing hide and seek with organizers of debate events, citing unpreparedness and campaigns.”
“The sad truth is that Mr. Godwin Obaseki is never prepared for anything, including governance. To debate, he needs his thousands of aides, most of whom he hired at the dawn of his forgettable tenure, to help him perfect a script of lies and untruths.”
“He doesn’t have a known or documented manifesto. His comical ‘MEGA’ plan, which in any case is an admittance of failure, was hurriedly put together as a response to the widespread criticism of his lackluster campaign and the lack of any documented policy promise. Since the launch they staged where Mr. Godwin Obaseki mumbled, stuttered, and unwittingly betrayed the fact that he was also seeing the paper for the first time, we have not heard anything of it since.”
“Mr. Godwin Obaseki knows he cannot spend an hour at a debate name-calling Oshiomhole or regurgitating any of his tired refrains premised on buck-passing and denial of responsibility. At some point, he would be asked to speak of his own achievements and explain why schools in most communities in Edo state have just one teacher. This is why he is hiding.”