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Presidential Debate: “Buhari Is Not A Public Speaker”- Osinbajo

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has dismissed criticism against President Muhammadu Buhari’s oratory skills, noting that his integrity sets him apart as a leader.

The president has long been criticized for his public speaking skills and was recently torn apart on his underwhelming performance at a two-hour town hall programme, tagged ‘The Candidates’, last week.

While speaking at an event organized by Christian leaders and youth in Lagos on Sunday, January 20, 2019, Osinbajo said Nigeria is secure under Buhari despite his questionable oratory skills.

He said the president’s integrity is why the angry elite, whom he’s sidelined, is eager to see him leave the Presidential Villa.

He said, “He (Buhari) is not an orator. My business is oratory, I’m a lawyer. The reason why you have a person like that is integrity.

“For the first time in Nigeria, you do not have people confident enough to say that, ‘I’m going to do a deal with Mr. President’, ‘I’m going to make away with the country’s resources’. You don’t have that.

“Part of the reasons why so many people and so many of our forgotten elite are angry and anxious is because he (Buhari) doesn’t deal lightly with the resources of the country. We’re no longer in that business.

“That’s the reason why I’m very confident that if we have a man like that for another four years, our country will be much better because the resources will not be stolen.”

Osinbajo also defended the president’s performance during the town hall, noting that he couldn’t hear many of the questions because of a microphone problem. He noted that the president performed better during a previous interview with Arise TV because he could hear the questions well.

He said, “For those who saw his performance, some people said this and that but listen to his interview on Arise TV where we were all able to hear the questions well.

“I sat opposite the interviewer, Kadaria, and I was telling her repeatedly that the audience can hear you but we can’t hear you well because of the connectivity of her microphone and ours.

“I don’t think that there’s any problem with the president’s health or anything. Yesterday (Saturday), he was in two states campaigning. The man is as sane, as well, as fit, and as healthy as anyone.”

President Buhari failed to attend the presidential debate organized by the Nigerian Election Debate Group (NEDG) on Saturday, January 19, prompting more criticism that he cannot confidently articulate his ideas to Nigerians on an unregulated public forum.

The February 16 presidential election is billed to be keenly-contested between Buhari and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). A total of 73 candidates will contest in the election, the highest ever in Nigeria’s history.

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