The All Progressives Congress has rejected a challenge for a one-on-one interview between its presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.
The contention between the two leading candidates started when Atiku, in an interview with Arise TV on Friday, said he turned down Tinubu’s request to be his running mate in the 2007 presidential election because he opposed a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
In his response, Tinubu said he never lobbied to be Atiku’s running mate but was instead offered the ticket by the former Vice-President when they were members of the Action Congress which Atiku had joined after leaving the PDP.
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.
Commenting on the challenge, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Felix Morka, in an interview with The PUNCH, said Atiku could not defeat anybody in any debate, adding that he had nothing to offer.
Morka disclosed that the APC presidential candidate was a very busy man who would prefer to rather attend to important matters associated with his campaign than listen to ‘’the rant of the opposition who has little or nothing to contribute positively.’’
This is even as Morka stated that Atiku was incapable of beating anybody.
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.”
Also, the Tinubu Mandate Group, Ondo and Ekiti States chapter, said Atiku could not match his APC counterpart in any debate.
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.
Adegoroye, wondered what the PDP presidential candidate wanted, saying, “Without any debate, Asiwaju Tinubu has always expressed himself and spoken out anytime he has the opportunity. He is always there.’’