374 Views

2019 Election: Aspirants Challenge Buhari To Debate

A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; a former Kano State Governor, Ibrahim Shekarau; and other presidential aspirants interested in contesting in the 2019 election have challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to a debate ahead of the poll if they emerge as their parties’ candidates.
 The other presidential aspirants who have challenged the President to a debate are a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu; a former presidential candidate of the KOWA Party in the 2015 election, Prof. Remi Sonaiya; Publisher, Sahara Reporters, Mr. Omoyele Sowore; Prof. Iyorwuese Hagher; and Prof. Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies.
According to the presidential aspirants, if they emerge as their parties’ candidates for the next election, they will engage in any presidential debate they are invited for and would like President Buhari to make himself available for such debates should he also emerge as the candidate of his party, the All Progressives Congress.
Buhari had in 2015 shunned the last round of a presidential debate organised by the Nigeria Elections Debate Group, which was attended by the then President, Goodluck Jonathan (Peoples Democratic Party), Sonaiya (KOWA Party), Martins Onovo (National Conscience Party), Godson Okoye (United Democratic Party) and Chekwas Okorie (United Peoples Party).
But for the next election, Atiku said he would take part in any presidential debate if he emerged as the PDP candidate.
In a message on Twitter, he gave kudos to the Independent National Electoral Commission for recognising debates as a vital part of democratic process, saying “debates are a vital part of the democratic process.
“Our democracy and governance will be better enriched when voters have the opportunity to make the needed distinction in the offerings of those who apply to govern them.”
When asked if he would be ready to face other presidential candidates in a debate, including Buhari, if he emerged as the APC candidate, his media aide, Mr. Paul Ibe, said, “His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, will make himself available for a debate.”
Former Presidential candidate of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, also said it was important for those seeking to occupy the office of President to participate in a debate.
This, he said, would go a long way in assisting the public to make informed choices about those who want their votes.
Shekarau, who is also seeking to contest for the Presidency on the platform of the PDP, spoke through his Media Adviser, Mallam Sule Ya’u Sule, on Friday, saying he was “prepared to participate in a presidential debate anytime anywhere.”
He said, “It is like attending a job interview, which will provide the prospective employer with an opportunity to assess individual candidates; Nigerians deserve to be given the opportunity to hear directly from those who seek their mandate to occupy the highest office in the land.
 
“If you will recall, His Excellency is not a stranger to debates as a trained teacher and public servant long before he became a politician. He has been involved in explaining and executing policies and plans on how to make this country better.”
Also, Moghalu, a presidential aspirant on the platform of the Young Progressive Party, on Friday, expressed his readiness to confront Buhari in a debate ahead of the 2019 elections.
In a telephone interview with Saturday PUNCH, he said, “Yes, I am fully ready to face the President in a debate. Broadly, the areas that will be of interest to Nigerians are the economy, security, the fight against corruption, health, and education, among others.”
Moghalu, who expressed worry over the rising incidence of incessant killings and unemployment in the country, said his ambition to contest for the presidency in 2019 was borne out of the realisation that past leaders had failed.
Sonaiya, who has also expressed interest in contesting in the next presidential election, said if she emerged as her party’s candidate, she would “definitely participate in a debate,” adding that Buhari “should participate too as it is a duty; it is one of our duties to strengthen democracy.”
“If you talk about strengthening democracy and so on, this is one way to do so and I think that even if there is no law that compels a candidate to participate in a debate, every candidate should see it as a responsibility.
 
“It is one of the platforms to engage with the people. I participated in the debate the last time so there is no reason for me not to participate again,” she said.
According to Sowore, he cannot wait to debate with President Buhari on issues affecting Nigerians.
He said, “I can’t wait to debate with President Buhari, I think Nigerians are anxiously waiting for such an important moment in our political history. A popular debate will afford the President an opportunity to state to the Nigerian public where he thought he performed well and also present us an opportunity to lay before the Nigerian people our programmes of action to lift Nigeria to progress and prosperity.
 
“I decided to run against the President because I came to the conclusion that he has failed in every ramification and ought not to be re-elected to office again for another four-year term.”
Hagher, who hopes to contest for the presidency on the platform of the Social Democratic Party, said he was “ever ready” to have a presidential debate with Buhari, adding that “even if it is now, I’m ready for him. I don’t want to wait, let him come out, he is a colossal failure.”
Another presidential aspirant on the platform of the PDP, Adesanya-Davies, also said that she was ready to face President Buhari in a presidential debate should both of them emerge as candidates of their parties.
Adesanya-Davies told a correspondent that she would like to take the President up on issues concerning the economy, education and security, especially why the Christian girl, Leah Shuaibu, had not been released by the Boko Haram sect.
She explained that though the President did not participate in the 2015 presidential debate, Buhari should be able to be part of the 2019 presidential debate to explain certain things to Nigerians.
“Certainly yes; I am ready for a debate if I emerge as the candidate of my party; the PDP. I know that before the 2015 election, President Buhari did not go for any debate. He should not dodge the debate this time if he emerges the candidate of his party.
 
“He (Buhari) should not only be talking to me; he should be talking to the entire Nigerians. We need him to explain why he should be the President and also the Minister of Petroleum. Why did he give a person like Babatunde Fashola multiple portfolios when one portfolio is already difficult to handle?
 
“At such a debate, I will like to discuss the economy and education. We will like to talk about security; we have yet to find the Christian girl (still with the Boko Haram sect),” Adesanya-Davies said.
The presidential aspirant also queried the age and physical ability of the President, saying, “We will talk about the incumbent’s age and his health; why is he coming back again without considering his age and health?”
Buhari must take part in presidential debate –Secondus
Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, has said that Nigerians must insist that the presidential candidates must engage in a debate before the conduct of the 2019 election.
He, therefore, asked President Buhari to be prepared to partake in the debate which he said would afford Nigerians the opportunity to hear from all the candidates and then compare their abilities and potential.
He said, “Presidential debates are used to judge the ability of the candidates to perform in office. Body language has no role in what candidates will do while in office.
 
“President Muhammadu Buhari is the incumbent President. It is an advantage for him to tell Nigerians what he has done in the past four years or so.
 
“He will tell them the roads he has started and finished, the airport he has built, the security he has provided, jobs he has created and what he has done to secure the naira against the dollar and so on and so forth.
 
“So, he should get prepared.  Nigerians must insist that whoever wants to lead them must be ready to debate with one another.  We don’t need accidental leaders and unprepared Presidents anymore.
 
“Debates afford candidates to sell themselves to the voters. Any candidate that runs away from the debate has failed from the beginning.”
 We won’t force him, says APC
But the Spokesperson for the ruling APC,  Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, told Saturday PUNCH on Friday that the party would not force whoever emerges as its presidential candidate to go for any debate.
He also described such debates as not compulsory.
He said the ruling party didn’t “have a candidate yet” and that it would allow the eventual candidate’s campaign office to decide on the matter.
He said, “The presidential campaign will decide on that (if to take part in a presidential debate or not), not the party.
 
“If we get a letter of invitation, the party will sit down with the campaign organisation and look at it. There is nothing in the campaign rule that says you (as a candidate) must do it.
 
“You have to look at it strategically. It has to be part of your own strategy whether to do it or not.”
We can’t say if President will debate or not – Buhari Presidential Campaign Organisation
The Spokesperson for the Buhari Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr. Festus Keyamo  (SAN), said that he was also not capable to speak on whether Buhari would take part in a presidential debate or not.
He said that the campaign group had yet to take a decision on the issue.
“I will not be in a position to make any commitment on that. This is because as a team, we have yet to sit down to look at it. I’m not mandated to speak on it,” he said.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest Posts

iPhone XS Max: All You Need to Know About the Biggest and Most Expensive iPhone Ever
Technology
54 views
Technology
54 views

iPhone XS Max: All You Need to Know About the Biggest and Most Expensive iPhone Ever

MT - September 18, 2018

The legendary co-founder of Apple, Inc., Steve Jobs, detested big phones and wouldn’t produce them. His successor, Tim Cook, apparently felt differently; borrowed a leaf from Samsung’s…

Top 7 Most Beautiful Ladies In Nigeria
Best of Nigeria
1277 views
Best of Nigeria
1277 views

Top 7 Most Beautiful Ladies In Nigeria

MT - September 18, 2018

There are a lot of girls with the brilliant faces, who work as models and get the titles on various model competitions. So who is the most…

Check Out Top 7 Most Expensive Places To Live In Lagos
Holiday and Travels
1250 views
Holiday and Travels
1250 views

Check Out Top 7 Most Expensive Places To Live In Lagos

MT - September 18, 2018

With property and living costs on the rise, expensive estates springing up in all parts of the city, the development of Lagos into a mega city has…

Check Out The List Of Top 7 Celebrities Who Were Allegedly Ruined By Drugs And Alcohol
Entertainment
772 views
Entertainment
772 views

Check Out The List Of Top 7 Celebrities Who Were Allegedly Ruined By Drugs And Alcohol

MT - September 18, 2018

Here is a list of top 7 celebrities who were ruined by alcohol and drugs by Fabinfos.com. This stars got themselves addicted in alcohol and drugs, ending…

Amazing: SEE The Beautiful Mini Jeep Made By A Nigerian Man, Andy Acka (Photos)
Best of Nigeria
75 views
Best of Nigeria
75 views

Amazing: SEE The Beautiful Mini Jeep Made By A Nigerian Man, Andy Acka (Photos)

MT - September 18, 2018

Nigerians need no introduction as they excel beyond expectations anywhere they are in the world. An average Nigerian is smart, tenacious and can see inspiration in what…

Meet The Man Who Rode Bicycle From Morocco To Nigeria (Photos)
Inspiring
57 views
Inspiring
57 views

Meet The Man Who Rode Bicycle From Morocco To Nigeria (Photos)

MT - September 18, 2018

A cyclist who is reported to be a Moroccan has ridden his bicycle from Morocco to Nigeria and is set to embark on a new journey to…

Adorable Video Of A 7-Year-Old Girl Bathing Her Newly Born Sibling
Inspiring
64 views
Inspiring
64 views

Adorable Video Of A 7-Year-Old Girl Bathing Her Newly Born Sibling

MT - September 18, 2018

This trending video of a 7 year old girl bathing her newly born sibling was shared by the father of the children on Facebook. Nigerians on social…

REVEALED: How Ex-President Obasanjo Ran NNPC As ‘One-Man Business’ For Good 8 Years
Business
56 views
Business
56 views

REVEALED: How Ex-President Obasanjo Ran NNPC As ‘One-Man Business’ For Good 8 Years

PH - September 18, 2018

A new book has told of how ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo ran the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as a “sole administrator” for the eight years he led…

Full List of the 2018 AWIEF Awards Finailists
Business
57 views
Business
57 views

Full List of the 2018 AWIEF Awards Finailists

PH - September 18, 2018

The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) has officially announced the finalists for AWIEF Awards 2018. The aim of the AWIEF Awards is to promote excellence in entrepreneurship…

“These Are Very Challenging Times For Our Country” – New Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed
Business
71 views
Business
71 views

“These Are Very Challenging Times For Our Country” – New Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed

PH - September 18, 2018

Newly appointed overseer of the finance ministry Zainab Ahmed who takes over from Kemi Adeosun assumed office on Monday. Adeosun resigned after it was revealed her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate was forged.…

WATCH: This BBC Documentary Follows Children Sold To Repay Debts In Cross River
Art, History and Culture
54 views
Art, History and Culture
54 views

WATCH: This BBC Documentary Follows Children Sold To Repay Debts In Cross River

PH - September 18, 2018

It had sounded bizarre the first times news of it broke in the media, and it sounds bizarre still: children sold off to repay debts. A culture…

7 Sure Ways To Keep Your Bank Account Secure
Best of Nigeria
71 views
Best of Nigeria
71 views

7 Sure Ways To Keep Your Bank Account Secure

MT - September 18, 2018

The risk of a fraudster accessing your bank account through the card you use at the ATM or a shop terminal is very real. In fact, card…

Why I Will Stop My Daughter From Acting – Veteran Actress, Monalisa Chinda Reveals
Entertainment
74 views
Entertainment
74 views

Why I Will Stop My Daughter From Acting – Veteran Actress, Monalisa Chinda Reveals

MT - September 18, 2018

The joy of every parent is to see his or her child walk in his or her footsteps or choose the same career after them, but for…

In Photos: Davido Lies Flat On The Floor To Greet Uncle, Senator Ademola Adeleke After Campaigning In Osun
Entertainment
104 views
Entertainment
104 views

In Photos: Davido Lies Flat On The Floor To Greet Uncle, Senator Ademola Adeleke After Campaigning In Osun

MT - September 18, 2018

Apart from being a strong supporter of the gubernatorial ambition of his uncle, Ademola Adeleke, pop star, Davido is also very fond of the man. Apparently! The…

How I Raised $1 Million To Free My Brother From Kidnapper Evans
Politics
84 views
Politics
84 views

How I Raised $1 Million To Free My Brother From Kidnapper Evans

PH - September 18, 2018

Mr Edwin Udoji, a witness in the on-going trial of billionaire kidnapper Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike,alias Evans, yesterday told a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere how he raised…

Top 7 Best Private And Government Hospitals in Nigeria
Best of Nigeria
1386 views
Best of Nigeria
1386 views

Top 7 Best Private And Government Hospitals in Nigeria

MT - September 17, 2018

You will definitely agree with me that the Nigeria health sector has been seriously dilapidated and this has really debilitated the well-being of average Nigeria. Though our…

Lagos Ranked 8th Most Expensive City In Africa, 47th In The World; According to Mercer
Best of Nigeria
98 views
Best of Nigeria
98 views

Lagos Ranked 8th Most Expensive City In Africa, 47th In The World; According to Mercer

MT - September 17, 2018

Lagos has been ranked 42nd most expensive city to live in the world and 8th in Africa in a 2018 global cost of living survey by mercer.…

WATCH “I Am Nigerian” Documentary Series
Business
98 views
Business
98 views

WATCH “I Am Nigerian” Documentary Series

PH - September 17, 2018

Nothing depicts Lagos better than its yellow buses and their conductors. But not nearly enough is known about these people. I Am Nigerian, a documentary series, gives…

Loading...