The No-Show

Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar Absent from Presidential Debate

by William Moore

The No-Show

Last night, Nigerians rushed home to crowd the front of their television screens, only to be robbed of what would have been a spectacle to behold in the ongoing elections. Much to the citizens’ disappointment, the incumbent president, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (APC), and his political rival from the most prominent opposition party, Atiku Abubakar (PDP), failed to attend a scheduled debating outing. In what many should have been able to predict following President Muhammadu Buhari’s track record on even pre-recorded televised outings, he declared a no-show on the day of the debate - possibly the best call by a campaign strategist having to choose between losing with humiliation and cowering with absence. Following the president’s line of action, Atiku Abubakar though present at the venue from his trip to America withdrew his presence in what many are calling a political move tweeting.

With respect to my fellow candidates, Fela Durotoye, Oby Ezekwesili, Kingsley Moghalu & to moderator Mark Sugar & with apologies to Nigerians here & at home expecting an interesting debate, I regret I will not be able to go on with this debate due to President Buhari's absence.

— Atiku Abubakar (@atiku) January 19, 2019

As the 16th of February draws to closer, Nigerians will have to consider if perhaps it is time to break the current trend of oscillating between the same old politicians displaying what can be translated to nonchalance and disregard, or if perhaps it is time to pitch the tent with a new face and party.