President John Dramani Mahama has reiterated an invitation to the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo to have a one-on-one presidential debate.
President Mahama first threw the challenge in March 2016 when he said on TV3 that “I'm willing, even this afternoon, if Nana presented himself, to take him on all those contentious statements that he’s made.”
Speaking on Volta Star Radio on Thursday, the President said he was still waiting for Nana Addo to meet him head on in a debate.
“When I threw the first challenge I threw it because a lot of misinformation was being thrown all over the place and Nana Akufo-Addo and his running mate continue to misinform the Ghanaian public and that is why I said that let’s have a one on one debate.
“If we have a one on one debate we will all have our statistics and our figures and Ghanaians will be able to see who’s telling the truth and who’s not telling the truth,” he said.
“They say the economy is in crisis If we have a debate, you will show why you think the economy is in crisis. The documents are all there. The statistics are there. And so I believe that Ghanaians deserve a debate between myself and Nana Akufo-Addo and I hope that they will respond and rise to the occasion,” President Mahama added.
But in a response, Spokesperson for Nana Akufo-Addo, Mustapha Hamid described the President’s challenge as hypocritical and an insincere rhetoric.
According to him, President Mahama shied away when the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) slated a debate between him and Nana Addo.
“The IEA is the accepted institution that has been organising debates over the years. The IEA said that they had a timetable for presidential debates; he said that he was not interested in that so at what point did he suddenly realise that debates are important?” he questioned.
Mr Hamid further argued that if the President was serious about debating the NPP flagbearer, “you write to him…the presidential candidate, New Patriotic Party, Ridge, Accra. Dear Akufo-Addo invitation to a debate. Then you write a letter. Then you sign. Then it is delivered. Then we give you a response.”
“And then based on our response you can go to the public and say that I invited them to a debate and they didn’t come,” he added.