March 28 Election: President Jonathan Challenges Buhari To Debate In Chatham House
BEVERLY HILLS, March 01, (THEWILL) – President Goodluck Jonathan has challenged the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress in the March 28 presidential election, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), to a public debate at the Chatham House in London, saying it would deepen democracy.
The debate, according to the President, became imperative because of Buhari's “refusal to accede to requests for a Presidential Debate here at home in Nigeria.”
Jonathan extended the invitation in an open letter to Buhari by the National Coordinator of Wind of Hope, his personal NGO, Mr. Onoriode Akpeh, and obtained by journalists in Abuja.
The organization said it would “fully sponsor” such a forum, adding “all we ask is that you state your preferred date and time.”
The letter states: “Your Excellency, We wish to congratulate you on your recent visit to the United Kingdom where you delivered a speech at Chatham House, London on Thursday February 26 2015. Your speech at the event is clearly a source of motivation for your supporters who in recent times seem to have lost steam in their aggressive marketing of your candidacy for the office of President.
“The author of the said speech must be commended because your presentation finally acknowledged the achievements of the present government in growing our economy to be the largest in Africa with a GDP of $510 Billion and maintaining a single digit inflation regime.
“However, your action, or may we say your party's action with regards to the entire concept and aim of the forum, calls to question, your refusal to accede to requests for a Presidential Debate here at home in Nigeria.
“In our quest to deepen democracy which thrives on robust and constructive deliberations that aids the electorate in making informed decisions, Wind of Hope hereby offers you a platform to debate with the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan before the forthcoming elections at Chatham House where you were so obviously at ease before your supporters and the international media.
“We wish to state further, our readiness to FULLY SPONSOR such a forum. All we ask is that you state your preferred date and time.
“Again, we wish to reiterate the import of such a debate in this election which you appropriately described as “Nigeria's landmark election” in your speech at Chatham House.
“In closing, we would like to wish Your Excellency well in all your endeavors and do so with the hope that you see our request as a call to duty. Where the future of our country is at stake, no inconvenience is too great to bear. Please accept the assurance of our best regards.”