Ahead of the 2019 presidential election, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to a live, one-on-one debate with its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on critical sectors of the nation’s economy, according to a report by Vanguard.
The opposition party accused President Buhari of neglecting troops fighting in the North-East and reneging on his promise to “lead the fight from the front,” which it said has resulted in the vulnerability and killing of soldiers by insurgents.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, in a swift reaction, described PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku, as leading “a gang of selfish and mercantile politicians,” who cannot withstand the credentials of its candidate President Buhari.
In a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP said Nigerians are aware that President Buhari is “afraid of facing our candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in a general debate organised by independent bodies. For this, PDP grants him the liberty to choose a venue, date and time convenient for him to face our candidate before a neutral panel.
“President Buhari must face Atiku in person, as Nigerians are not ready to accept any representation from him. If, as a Commander-in-Chief, Mr. President cannot face a political debate, how then can he vigorously engage international competitors?”
PDP also tasked the President to muster the courage to “face his failures and avail Nigerians of his sectoral performance scorecards, as well as present his future blueprint, if any, to enable the electorate weigh him alongside our presidential candidate.”