The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday decried All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari’s insistence on not participating in any national debate.

The PDP said that Buhari is too incompetent to challenge Jonathan on national television.

The APC had pulled out of a debate organised by the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria saying that the organisers were biased.

The PDP’s campaign organisation spokesperson, Femi Fani-Kayode, said: “Let them be the ones to organise it; let them set up the panel; let them bring out the questions; let them show their candidate the questions before hand and let them prepare answers to those questions for their candidate.

“Let them write it down for him; let them come and we will still debate with them as long as it is live and as long as our candidate is allowed to give his answers and as long as he is not cut short. As long as they would do that, we are ready to debate with them.

“Even in those circumstances, General Muhammadu Buhari would not be able to stand against President Goodluck Jonathan. They know that; we know that and the entire country knows that and that is why they are running away.”

Fani-Kayode said that there are still many Nigerians who have not made up their minds and want a debate.

“But for those that are yet to decide and perhaps for those who are leaning towards Buhari, if we have a live debate and everybody is allowed to speak his or her mind freely and fairly, I assure you that by the end of that exercise, General Buhari will be exposed for what he is and President Jonathan will be able to give the Nigerian people a glimpse of what he has to offer and also a good account of his records for the last four years,” he said.

“That is why the other side is running away. So, I think at the end of the exercise, after such a debate, whether APC-organised or whether organised by anybody else, President Jonathan will come out in flying colours while General Buhari will come out a very unhappy man,” Fani-Kayode said.

The APC campaign organisation has, however, said that Buhari will not shy away from explaining his policies on how to rebuild Nigeria from the current situation created by Jonathan.

“What is the hullabaloo about GMB (General Muhammadu Buhari) not attending a debate organised by elements that have shown unhidden bias towards his person, family, career and political interest?” APC campaign director Garba Shehu said.

“It is on record that the man (Buhari) had participated in previous presidential debates in 2007 and 2011 respectively, which the PDP candidate did not attend,” he added.

Shehu said that his party and Buhari have received several invitations to debates and are choosing the right media channel to attend.

He said that Fani-Kayode’s remarks were akin to the ranting of a man “with deficit communication acumen and mastery of simple logic.”

“The interpretation by the spokesman of the PDP Campaign is a huge lie. Nigerians know Buhari as a man of high integrity and one that would not shy away from public scrutiny. He is the type that would declare his asset publicly, a no-go area to the sitting President who once said ‘I don’t give a damn’ when challenged to do so in the past.

“Buhari has been to almost 32 states to explain his plans for the revival and resuscitation of our nation, and his endearing utterances have been aired to Nigerians who now support his cause en masse, unlike those who are losing party loyalists per second,” he said.


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