The Presidency has accused the All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential Candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) of avoiding a debate with his Peoples Democratic Party counterpart and incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Presidency alleged that Buhari and his campaign organisation had rebuffed all entreaties to get the former head of state to debate with President Jonathan.
The Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, made the allegation in a piece entitled ‘We challenge Buhari to a debate’.
Abati said, “The man to blame for this denial is General Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress. Getting him to debate the incumbent, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has been an uphill task.
“To say that the man is scared, practically running away from an opportunity to debate his ideas against the incumbent’s, is to be charitable. He doesn’t want it. Every effort to get him to the podium has been rebuffed by him and his handlers”.
He added that while Jonathan accepted invitations to two presidential debates before the elections were rescheduled, “Buhari was not interested” in any of them.
The presidential spokesperson noted that every Nigerian would love to see the PDP and APC presidential candidates in a debate, being the main contenders in the election. According to him, that would be good for our democracy.
Abati recalled that the first group that approached Jonathan was represented by John Momoh of Channels TV; Emeka Izeze of The Guardian, and Nduka Obaigbena of ThisDay, Arise TV and the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria.
He said while the Presidency agreed to any Sunday, Buhari allegedly rejected a Sunday because “he does not work on Sundays”.
Abati further said the APC candidate also rejected a Monday offer. He added that both parties later agreed to a Tuesday.
“Two days to this debate that would have been, I received non-stop frantic calls from the troika of Momoh, Izeze and Obaigbena. There had been a development, they said. The fresh development was that they had met that same evening with General Buhari and he did not agree anymore to a debate with President Jonathan.
“Rather, he wanted a town hall meeting, in which he would be the sole participant. Another town hall meeting could be organised the same day for President Jonathan and both could be aired back to back. That was his request and wish. Momoh and co wanted the President to agree to this”, he said.
Abati said the Nigeria Elections Debate Group was the second group to invite the two leading candidates to a debate.
The presidential spokesperson added, “The Buhari camp, again, rejected this invitation on the grounds that the media houses involved were pro-government and therefore partisan”.
In its reaction, the APC Presidential Campaign Organization faulted the Presidency for being hypocritical as it recalled that during previous elections, the PDP had always rejected debate offers by Buhari to the candidates of the ruling party.
The Director, Media and Publicity of the APCPCO, Mr. Garba Shehu, queried why the PDP-led presidency did not cry foul when former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the late ex-President Umaru Yar’Adua and the incumbent rejected the APC presidential candidate’s offer to engage them in debates during the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections.
Shehu asked, “Was it alright when it happened in 2003, 2007 and 2011? If it (rejection) was right then, what makes it wrong now?”
#EndSARS: Protesters Rain Curses On Me: Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina has revealed that he has been receiving curses from Nigerians through phone calls and text messages over a false report that he advised his principal to shun protesters.
Adesina stated in an article he wrote titled: “An Enemy of the People’ published on Thursday evening.
￼Adesina denied that he advised President Buhari for whatever reasons on the End SARS protesters, but said an online platform falsely accused him that he told Buhari to “ignore the protests and not give in to the demands of ‘Twitter warriors’.
He explained that his telephone numbers were posted on social media, thereby, making people reach out to him with curses.
Sanwo-Olu Sends Condolence Message To Seyi Makinde Over Mother’s Death
Recall that InformationNigeria earlier reported that Governor Makinde of Oyo State on Thursday lost his mother, Chief Abigail Makinde.
The governor’s mother passed on at age 81.
Also Read: Governor Seyi Makinde Loses 81-Yr-Old Mother
Reacting to the news, Sanwo-Olu prayed for the dead and consoled the bereaved via his official Twitter handle on Thursday. He wrote:
“I commiserate with Governor @seyiamakinde on the passing to eternal glory of his dear mother, Mrs Abigail Makinde.
While I extend my condolences to the Makinde family, I pray that God grants them the grace and courage to bear the loss. May mama’s soul rest eternally.”
I commiserate with Governor @seyiamakinde on the passing to eternal glory of his dear mother, Mrs Abigail Makinde.
While I extend my condolences to the Makinde family, I pray that God grants them the grace and courage to bear the loss. May mama's soul rest eternally. pic.twitter.com/EaFIlq3Uv3
— Babajide Sanwo-Olu (@jidesanwoolu) October 15, 2020
INEC Announces Date for 2023 Presidential Election
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that the 2023 presidential election will hold on February 18, 2023.
The Chairman of the Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, made this known on Thursday while delivering his goodwill message at the inauguration of the special adhoc committee on the review of the 1999 constitution.
Yakubu told members of the House of Representatives there were about 855 days left before the next general election.
Also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, urged the committee to pick things they can get over with and avoid the ones that will stall the process and destabilize the system.
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