The governorship candidate of African Action Congress (AAC) in Delta State, Frank Ufuoma Esanubi, says the party’s presidential candidate, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, was deliberately excluded from participating in the presidential debate for being blunt with the truth.
Esanubi accused the organisers of the debate of playing the script of some powerful Nigerians who are afraid of the truth as regard their role current state of the country at the debate.
The presidential debate was held on January 19 with incumbent president and candidate of All Progressive Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari absent while candidate of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar stormed out of the hall because of Buhari’s absence.
Three candidates including Kingsley Moghalu, Oby Ezekwesili and Fela Durotaye participated in the debate.
Addressing newsmen in Asaba during his campaign on Wednesday, Esanubi alleged that Sowore was deliberately excluded from the exercise because he has the capacity to speak truth irrespective of whose ox is gored.
“Sowore was not absent from the presidential debate, the door was shut against him. He was not allowed to be part of the debate because he will tell truth to authority. If Sowore was in that debate, those that are thief he will call them thief, those that are armed robbers, he will call them armed robbers. Those that are totally incompetent to continue as president, he will tell them to their face that they are incompetent.
“But the organizers of that debate felt that they don’t want a person of his character to be there, that is why they excluded him. Wherever he has been invited for public discourse as regard his ambition to govern this country, he has always make himself available,” Esanubi said.
He contended that the action of the organisers of the debate was discriminatory, even as he further alleged that there is media gang up against smaller political parties and their candidates in the forthcoming elections.
Esanubi urged Nigerians to rise up against the Democratic reality, noting that the fact that the major parties had resorted to open vote-buying does not only indicate desperation among the older political parties but was a clear evidence the people’s votes now count.
The candidate enjoined Nigerians not give up on the country but should rescue the country from decades of misrule, just as he also decried what he called prodigal and unaccountable campaign spending particularly by the APC and the PDP.
“What the other parties are doing is actually not campaign or telling the people why they should cast their votes for them. They are simply engaged in jamboree, whereby they hire musicians, dance and entertain themselves instead of actually reaching out and meeting the people one-on-one.
“We at the AAC are transparent in the conduct of all our businesses, which you will hardly see in the so-called big parties like the APC and PDP. Our campaign spending is public knowledge, whatever comes in or spent is made public and can be accessed online on our website,” he said.
Flanked by his running mate, Udoka Peace Ossaiga and other party candidates and members, Esanubi stressed that tackling of unemployment through various policies and programmes, including bi-curricular educational reforms in the state would receive priority attention of his government if he wins the March 2, 2019.
While describing the engagement of thousands of political aides by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as unnecessary and wasteful, Esanubi said that the money currently used to maintain such a retinue of political appointees and spurious advisers would be channeled into providing seed money of at least N1 million to every youth of Delta State origin who graduates from any tertiary institution.