Opinion: This is why Buhari must debate Pres. Jonathan

by Ogundana Michael

Muhamadu-Buhari1

But the truth is, whether or not those allegations are genuine, General Buhari should debate because it is just the right thing to do.

Permit me to use this medium to wish you all a Happy New Month. February 2015 has been declared the month of change. This is a certainty and the people are determined to see this change come through.

Last week, The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) expressed confidence, that her presidential candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan would defeat the main opposition party, All Progressive Congress’s (APC) Candidate; General Muhammadu Buhari, in the North, in a landslide victory come February 14th, 2015. This was said during their re-election campaign rally in Kaduna.

Although, aside from the reasons they give, that is; being that their party governs more states in the northern part of the country than the opposition party and due to the achievements of the President in the agricultural sector and in building of Almajri schools, I do not think there is any other tangible reason for this claim. The statistics that ended up giving them such confidence remains unclear to me but I would like to advice them to go back to the black table, to check and re-validate their methods correctly. While I remind them, that, it is the same northern part of the country that the president will win in a landslide victory that had his convoy and election team petted with stone and other items, not once not twice but thrice by aggrieved citizens, in Bauchi, then Kastina and Taraba.

Also, Kano that has the highest population in the north is being governed by the opposition party (APC). Furthermore, you only need common sense to know that those three states in the north eastern part of the country that are vigorously faced with insurgency would like to taste change to see if it would work for them.

Well, that’s by the way. I just actually want the PDP to wake up from their slumber because it is morning already.

Meanwhile, in less than two weeks the presidential election would be conducted across the country and as recently adopted, not without a debate. The Nigeria Election Debate Group (NEDG), in collaboration with the Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON) has scheduled the Presidential debates for February 8, 2015. However, The APC Presidential Campaign Organization announced on Thursday that its candidate would not participate in the debate organized by Nigeria Election Debate Group (NEDG) and Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON) because the organizers are supporters of the PDP. Also, The APC accused the organizers of the debate of unhidden bias and campaign of calumny by some key organizers of the programme against the corporate political interest of the party and its candidates.

But the truth is, whether or not those allegations are genuine, General Buhari should debate because it is just the right thing to do.

This will give him the opportunity to once again air his views, mission, strategies and plans for the people. The point is; you have to get people listening before you can change their minds.

Also, the debate will give him the opportunity to correct those misconceptions and blackmails against him.

In addition, it will go a long way to show to the people, especially the presidency that he is not like President Jonathan that boycotted the debates in 2011 for flimsy excuses.

If General Buhari fails to debate because President Jonathan didn’t debate in 2011 for similar reasons or because of other reasons surrounding the organization of the debate, then he does not in any way differ from the President.

Moreover, the debate will give him a good opportunity to say to the world that he is prepared for leadership; to tolerate criticism, abuse, correction, and other allegations against him. It will also show that he is not weak and can withstand antagonism.

I wish to emphasize that General Buhari attempting to avoid the debate is a wrong signal and in a way passing a wrong message to the world.

As much as the people are yearning and keen on change, they would also like to see the General debates on crucial issues that are facing the country and how he intends to address them if elected.

Hence, I would want the All Progressive Congress Presidential candidate; General Buhari to go for the debates, to prove his critics wrong, to tell the world who he really is and what he has to offer, then leave the rest for the people to judge.

God bless Nigeria.

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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One comment

  1. FEBRUARY ELECTIONS: THE CHOICE BEFORE US

    Many Nigerians have forgotten very quickly how the regime of General Buhari killed and incarcerated many people during their thankfully short-lived regime. We believe Nigerians want a leader and not a dictator. Buhari said himself that he never regretted the murder of Ogbengbe and numerous others that were wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death, sometimes through a retroactive decree.
    Nigerians have you forgotten how after staging a coup kept President Shehu Shagari in house detention in Ikoyi while his powerless deputy, Alex Ekwueme, was locked up in Kiri-kiri prisons? What of the manhandling of the respected Tai Solarin who was incarcerated and then denied his medical treatment?
    Buhari cancelled former Governor Jakande’s metroline and forfeited the $50 million paid for it by the then Lagos State Government, how callous is that? Buhari went ahead to ban the Nigeria medical Association (NMA), he humiliated the Oni of Ife over a trip to Israel showing his lack of regard for our revered royal institutions
    Remember Chief Adekunle Ajasin? Have you forgotten his illegal detention after he was arraigned and acquitted by an election tribunal? Buhari re-arrested Ajasin on several occasions and later ordered that he be detained indefinitely just for winning an election. Yet he wants to obtain power now through democratic means.
    To support General Buhari would be a crime against the many Nigerians that suffered tyranny in the hands of the general and to the souls of those who died in his hands.
    Let us hold General Buhari accountable for all the atrocities committed during his time.
    Nigerians do not be fooled. Remember what he has done before. Be sure that he will do it all again if given the chance.

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