A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; a former Kano State Governor, Ibrahim Shekarau; and other presidential aspirants interested in contesting in the 2019 election have challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to a debate ahead of the poll if they emerge as their parties’ candidates.
The other presidential aspirants who have challenged the President to a debate are a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu; a former presidential candidate of the KOWA Party in the 2015 election, Prof. Remi Sonaiya; Publisher, Sahara Reporters, Mr. Omoyele Sowore; Prof. Iyorwuese Hagher; and Prof. Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies.
According to the presidential aspirants, if they emerge as their parties’ candidates for the next election, they will engage in any presidential debate they are invited for and would like President Buhari to make himself available for such debates should he also emerge as the candidate of his party, the All Progressives Congress.
Buhari had in 2015 shunned the last round of a presidential debate organised by the Nigeria Elections Debate Group, which was attended by the then President, Goodluck Jonathan (Peoples Democratic Party), Sonaiya (KOWA Party), Martins Onovo (National Conscience Party), Godson Okoye (United Democratic Party) and Chekwas Okorie (United Peoples Party).
But for the next election, Atiku said he would take part in any presidential debate if he emerged as the PDP candidate.