The presidential candidate of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie, has challenged the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) to a debate organised by the Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG).
“I invite General (Muhammadu) Buhari and President (Goodluck) Jonathan to join me at the newly rescheduled presidential debate on March 22, 2015, which is more important than their appearances at the Chatham House in London”, he added.
Okorie, who threw the challenge through a statement made available to Daily Times in Abuja and signed by the Director General of his campaign organisation, Ugorji Okechukwu Ugorji, said that Nigerians were eager to watch the three leading presidential candidates’ debate on all important issues facing Nigeria and the people.
He faulted the appearance of Buhari at the Chatham House, last week and the reported interest of Jonathan to participate in a debate with his APC counterpart on Nigeria in a foreign land, noting that the “2015 general election is about Nigeria and the people alone, the sovereignty of the country and the supremacy of Nigerian people on their affairs must be projected and defended at all times”.
According to Okorie, “Now that General Buhari had spoken overseas and expressed himself in a progressive language, that resembles the UPP’s agenda, I ask him to reconsider his earlier decision not to participate in debates at home. And given the unexpected extension of time for the elections, I invite President Jonathan to join me in more debates than the one scheduled by the NEDG.”
In previous statements, in the course of the 2015 presidential campaign, the UPP candidate had expressed disappointment at the decision of Buhari not to participate in debates, and had also accepted Jonathan’s invitation to Buhari to participate in any debate, at a place and time of his choice.