Delta State governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, has opted out of the debate slated for this evening in Warri.
The debate is being organised by Arise News, operators of Arise TV.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sunny Areh, said the decision to opt out was due to the non-availability of his main contender and candidate of the PDP, Sheriff Oborevwori.
“In the evening of Tuesday, March 14, the Delta APC Campaign Organisation received a letter from Arise News, operators of Arise Television, inviting the leading contender for the March 18 governorship election in Delta State and APC’s flagbearer, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, to a debate involving the major candidates.
“The said debate is scheduled to hold today, Wednesday, March 15 at 6p.m.
“Although the invitation came rather late and we had no prior knowledge of the event while having other engagements already lined up, Senator Omo-Agege is prepared to review his appointments and participate in the debate.
“However, his readiness had always had a caveat: his main opponent and candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sheriff Oborevwori, should also be in attendance.
“Unfortunately, we have confirmed that Oborevwori has chickened out of the debate. Of course, this does not come as a surprise as the PDP flagbearer had repeatedly indicated that he will not participate in any debate, probably to conceal his inadequacies.
“As a result, Senator Omo-Agege is not inclined to participate in the debate when Oborevwori is not there.
“However, if as the PDP stated in their letter declining the offer from Arise News that should the organization reschedule it to a new date, their candidate may consider participating, Senator Omo-Agege will promptly review his decision. If only that was truly the case.
“But we know that Rt. Hon. Oborevwori will never subject himself to any situation where he will face a barrage of questions from the media without the aid and guidance of his media aides.
“If the unthinkable happens and the Speaker expresses willingness to be part of the debate, Senator Omo-Agege will adjust his schedule and participate in the debate.
“We believe that a debate involving all the candidates is a veritable platform for the public to further enrich their assessment of each candidate’s programmes.
“Such exercise can only be meaningful and wholesome if the major candidates, especially the flagbearer of the ruling party in the state is willing to participate.”