The moderator of the town hall meeting for the 2019 presidential candidates and their deputies, Kadaria Ahmed, has said that she was gentle in handling President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo when they both appeared on The Candidates on January 16, 2019.
The Candidates was the town hall meetings for presidential candidates and their deputies, where candidates had the opportunity to explain their manifestos to the electorate.
It may be recalled that viewers and commentators had accused Kadaria of “open bias,” saying that she was a lot harder on the Atiku-Obi pair than she was on Buhari-Osinbajo.
Speaking to Mr. Jimi Disu, the host of a radio programme, Lagos Talks, on Friday, Kadaria said she was benign on Buhari and Osinbajo because, unlike the Atiku-Obi pair, Buhari-Osinbajo were “gentle” in their dispositions.
She said that the crowd that attended the two events also contributed to her handling of the candidates.
“The audience of the Peoples Democratic Party heckled me,” Kadaria said.
She also said that though the overall capacity of audience they had invited was 100 on each occasion, comprising participants from the civil society groups, the physically challenged and party members, among others, 300 people turned up at the gate and the organisers had to use chains to cordon off the entrance to the venue.
She lamented that she discovered rather too late that all the figures bandied by PDP vice presidential candidate, Peter Obi, were false; regretting that she would have countered them if she had had a back-up team to tell her as the event went on.
She also explained that her retort to Osinbajo to “let Mr. President answer his question,” was not intended to be offensive, but that it was her reaction to the audience’s attempt to interfere in the process.
Kadaria predicted that victory might not come easy for either of the front-running candidates — Atiku and Buhari.