By Nicholas Ojo
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has challenged his All Progressives Congress (APC) counterpart, Bola Tinubu to come out for a debate.
Atiku who affirmed his readiness for debate with Tinubu on all issues, including governance, policies, programmes and their past, said Tinubu should stop running away from public debates ahead of 2023 presidential election.
The former Vice President made this assertion in an interview with Saturday Tribune through his spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan.
Ologbondiyan alleged that Tinubu was avoiding debates so as not to answer questions surrounding his past. While he boasted that the PDP candidate would defeat the APC candidate hands down in a free and fair contest.
He said: “We challenge Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu to an unscripted debate with Atiku Abubakar because Tinubu has been dodging debates and even interviews with the media.
“He has been organising private sessions with groups which our campaign believes are all choreographed in his favour. At most of these platforms, he either reads a prepared script or speaks through proxies who respond to questions on his invitation.
“It is perceptible that the presidential candidate of the APC is not prepared to answer questions arising from the litany of allegations surrounding his past.
“But Nigerians deserve to hear from him as a candidate that desires to govern them. He should prepare himself to respond to their questions and make himself available for interviews in the public space. Atiku Abubakar has had several engagements like these, having prepared himself for leadership roles.
“Tinubu does not have the requisite support that can deliver him in a presidential election. With the type of rejection that is greeting him in various states, there is no way he can secure the required 25 per cent of votes in 2/3 of states.
“Even in Lagos, Tinubu has lost considerable foothold after being demystified as a failed and oppressive leader with litany of allegations. The traditional support that would have come to his party has now been balkanised by leading parties. So, where will Tinubu draw the support from when the South-West, where he played his politics, has almost become a lost ground?
“Atiku is the only candidate in the 2023 race who has the capacity of winning the constitutionally required 25 per cent of votes cast in 2/3 of states across the federation,” the statement added.