Oyo state gubernatorial candidates, Engr. Seyi Makinde of the PDP and Barr. Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli of the ZLP has shunned the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Yoruba news gubernatorial debate.
Concise News gathered that the debate which held on Friday at the Professor Theophilus Ogunlesi Hall, opposite the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, was organised by the corporation to allow the candidates to tell the people about their manifesto.
The debate which had attracted politicians, party leaders and other stakeholders is however been attended by four out of the thirty-nine candidates jostling to succeed the incumbent governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi in May this year.
It was further gathered that those in attendance were former governor of the state who doubles as the candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) Otunba Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala, All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu, African Democratic Congress (ADC) candidate, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin and Mrs. Bolanle Sarumi-Aliyu, candidate of the National Interest Party (NIP).
Head, West Africa BBC news, Toyosi Ogunseye while addressing the participants shortly before the commencement of the debate tasked the audience to maintain decorum with a charge that the intention of the debate was to let the candidates tell the people about their aspirations.
Ogunseye while speaking warned that the platform was not a political gathering.
She said, “Good morning. Please, we want us to know that this is not a political gathering. This is not a political party thing. This is not a political gathering. We have done it in Lagos and we will do it in Kano and Enugu. We are live and the whole world is watching us live from here”.
Alli, former Secretary to Oyo state government, while explaining why he shunned the debate, maintained that the organisers of the event failed to feature him in the advertisements preceding the event.
He said, “Like every other candidate, the organisers invited me but in the advertisements preceding the event.
“The attention of the organisers was drawn to the error in the advertisements and they promised to effect a correction.”
Makinde, on the other hand, cited earlier commitments as the reason for his absence at the debate, saying that he had agreed with the people of Ibadan South East that he would kick off his campaign early enough today.