The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) again have restated it’s challenge to Tinubu, saying that he should subject himself to an hour media interview to test if he would be mentally present to do so.
The All Progressives Congress and its allied groups on Sunday said the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, would trounce his Peoples Democratic Party’s counterpart, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, in any debate.
This clash started when Atiku in an interview with Arise TV said his counterpart requested to be his running mate in the 2007 presidential elections. Atiku said he turned down this request because he was against the Muslim Muslim ticket.
In response to that, Tinubu said he never made such request, instead he was offered the ticket to run with he former Vice President when they were members of the All progressive party.
Atiku’s spokesman, Paul Ibe, had in a statement on Saturday night challenged Tinubu to subject himself to an hour interview as Atiku did if he was mentally present and articulate to do so.
To counter that, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Felix Morka, in an interview with The PUNCH, said Atiku has nothing to offer and he could not come close to defeating Tinube in a debate.
He said, “Atiku is simply bluffing and incapable of defeating anybody. He has nothing to discuss or offer Nigerians. I don’t think anybody is taking Atiku seriously.
“But beyond just the debate, I expect more of deliberations on policy engagements and conversations.”
He added that TInubu was a very busy man who would prefer to use his time for an important matter rather than seeking an aimless debate.
The Tinube mandate group, Ondo and Elita chapter also had something to say about this challenge.
The group said Tinubu had a lot of achievements to talk about, particularly, in the area of human development.
The Coordinator the group, Pastor Olufemi Bakare, who spoke with one of our correspondents, said Tinubu was ready for any debate and would floor his opponent.
He said , “What does Atiku have to say comparing with what Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has done to this country? How many people has he (Atiku) developed or built politically?
Tinubu has made a lot of people in the political circle. He has made a vice president, many governors, many ministers and a lot of people. So who has Atiku made and what he had done before that make him Tinubu’s match, let him come out to tell us.
Tinubu turned Lagos State from a state that generated IGR over N50billion per month. No problem we won’t say much when we get to the bridge we shall cross.”
The Coordinator, South West Agenda For Asiwaju Tinubu 2023, Prince Bamigboye Adegoroye, noted that any debate anytime is welcome for the APC presidential candidate.
Another support group, Tinubu Campaign Organization, says the APC standard-bearer only would accept to engage his counterpart when the electoral campaign kicks off in September.
The clarification was made on Sunday by TCO Director of Media and Communication, Bayo Onanuga.
However to oppose the misconception, Atiku’s spokesman, Ibe in a statement again challenged Tinubu to an hour-long media interview.
Ibe had said, “‘We would like to challenge Bola Tinubu to subject himself to an hour long interview, like the Waziri did, and if he is able to be as articulate and mentally present as our candidate, then he can talk. Until then, we only want to remind him and his yes men that they are not in a position to point fingers when they have not sat on the hot seat.
Atiku Abubakar has earned Master’s degree from Anglia Ruskin University. We challenge any of the present Presidential candidates to present an equal or higher degree. Moreover, his university attendance is a matter of verified record. Can we say the same about some other persons?”
Ibe reiterated the challenge in a phone interview with The PUNCH on Sunday, saying the former vice-presdient was not interested in a debate with Tinubu for now because the Independent National Electoral Commission had not given the go-ahead for campaigns.