The candidate said he couldn't make it because he was delayed by voters who wanted to hear from him.
Senator Ademola Adeleke (Osun West – PDP) has explained why he was absent from a debate organised for five selected Osun State gubernatorial candidates.
Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives' Congress (APC), Iyiola Omisore of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Fatai Akinbade of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), and Moshood Adeoti of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) were the other candidates who took part in the debate organised by Channels Television in Osogbo, Osun State capital, on Sunday, September 16, 2018.
Adeleke, popularly called the "Dancing Senator" due to his habit of flamboyant dancing in public, failed to show up for the two-hour debate.
Explaining why he was absent, the publicity director of the Adeleke Campaign Organisation, Olawale Rasheed, said the lawmaker was delayed by voters in a community visited on Sunday.
He told Premium Times that residents of a community in Ife East blocked Adeleke's way and insisted that he speak directly to them as their community has been neglected for years.
He said, "To our surprise, while we tried to skip the small towns and villages as we made efforts to meet up, they started trooping on the road. As I am talking to you now, we are just entering Osogbo.
"We did the same thing at Ikirun, trying to avoid some villages, then we had a backlash from the voters, they insisted that they wanted to hear the man (Adeleke) personally speak to them.
"The last village that we attended at Ife East, they were complaining that they had had no light for years, they trooped to the road and blocked our path and this was around 7:30 p.m.
"What we did was to send a message to a correspondent of Channels, and later I sent a message to Seun Okinbaloye (Channels presenter). We are just entering Osogbo now as I speak to you.
"It is not that we are intent on not attending, no. We need to reach the voters and need their votes. And when they block the road and they say you can't go, what do you do?"
Adeleke will contest in the September 22 election on the platform of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) just a year after he won the Osun West Senatorial bye election to replace his deceased brother, Isiaka, the first civilian governor of Osun State.