Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN presidential candidate, Oby Ezekwesili has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to a 20 hour debate to defend his achievements or lack of it.
Affirming that debate by proxy should not be accepted by Nigerians, she said that those who shy away from presenting themselves before the people do not deserve to take the position of leadership.
Ezekwesili further stated that nothing less than 20 hours of debate is acceptable to a country of approximately 200 million people. She said that the debate should be split in five sessions of four hours each, or four sessions of five hours each. The first debate, according to her statement, should be held within a week of official campaign start by INEC on 18 November.
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"It appears that there is a conspiracy of the minority to trivialize the issue of presidential debate in a bid to exempt President Muhammadu Buhari from defending his performance and presenting his plans before the Nigerian people. This is unacceptable. The people need to know why they should vote for each of the candidates, and they need to know now," Ezekwesili said in a statement on Sunday.
"Make no mistake, the only people Nigerians want to hear from are their presidential hopefuls. Nigerians vote for presidents, and presidents are the ones who get the job done. Vice Presidents will not take Nigeria out of poverty. So this is not the time to shortchange citizens with a Vice Presidential debate. Nigerians are voting for top of the ticket, not VP, and they are aware that this is what matters. Anything less than a presidential debate will be considered gross disrespect for the millions of citizens we hope to lead," she added.
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The statement said that Ezekwesili has as the main thrust of her campaign, the lifting of over 80 million Nigerians out of poverty and making prosperity possible for every business, every family, and every Nigerian citizen. The former Vice President of the World Bank for Africa and 2018 Nobel Prize nominee has pledged to lead a government focused on competitiveness, productivity and economic prosperity if elected into office.