This was the question on the lips of keen watchers of the political developments in the Pacesetter state during the recent governorship debate put together by Splash Fm, Ibadan.
The Labour Party (AP) candidate in the February 28 gubernatorial election, Otunba Adebayo Alao Alaka was absent at the event and there was no official statement from the camp of the former governor thus, fuelling speculations in various quarters.
Some people believed the Oyato former governor also called ATM may have shunned the programme for fear of being put on the spot. They said the intensity of the debate may be too much for Akala to cope with, but I countered his detractors by saying that the man was at the debate organised by Space Fm recently answering questions and advancing his points for three hours.
I said may be the Labour Party flagbearer was on a campaign tour or he didn’t attend because he wouldn’t be comfortable sitting in the same hall with the man who edged him out of the PDP governorship primaries, Senator Teslim Folarin.
Well, enough of this may be, may be not.
Whatever might have kept maverick politician way from that intellectual debate, by not attending the event, he lost a great opportunity to advance his political agenda.
Going by the pedigree of the organisers of the event and the enormous public attention the exercise generated, the debate would have provided Akala the opportunity to sell himself and his programmes to the masses of people who thronged the International Conference Centre as well as thousands of other people who didn’t attend but listened to the debate live on radio.
Akala would also have had the opportunity to clear the air on some other issues concerning his tenure as governor. Unless his managers think such clarification was unnecessary, just that one would have loved to see Akala at that governorship debate.
Come to think of it, all the four candidates who attended the debate were indigenes of Ibadan.
Okay! Now I understand why the former governor may have shunned the event.