HausaToday reports that the PDP had challenged Tinubu to subject himself to an hour media interview to test if he would be mentally present.
Allies of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate, have boasted that the former Lagos State Governor would trounce former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, of the PDP, in any debate.
Tinubu is a busy man – APC spokesperson
Commenting on the challenge, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Felix Morka, in an interview with The PUNCH, said Atiku had nothing to offer Nigerians.
He stated that Bola Tinubu is a very busy who would instead attend to essential matters than listen to the rants of the opposition who has little or nothing to contribute positively.
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.”
Tinubu has made vice president, governors, ministers, and others – Bakare
On his part, the Coordinator of the Tinubu Mandate Group, Ondo and Ekiti States chapter, Pastor Olufemi Bakare, said Atiku is no match for Tinubu in any debate.
According to him, Tinubu was ready for any debate and would floor all his opponents.
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.”
Atiku is frustrated – Buhari’s former minister
Also, a former Minister of Communication and Director-General of Asiwaju Tinubu Presidential Campaign Organisation, Adebayo Shittu, accused Atiku Abubakar of seeking attention.
He stated, “When I heard Atiku challenging Tinubu to a one-hour public debate, I laughed. One thing he seems to be forgetting is that the individual capacity during a debate differs. He may probably have assumed that Asiwaju can’t beat him in an open contest because he is a taciturn fellow.
“Honestly, I think Atiku is frustrated. He knows this is his last card after several attempts to become the president. As I earlier mentioned, the people in his constituency have been lamenting that he has not contributed anything to the development of their community. Even the road to his hometown is not in the best shape.”
Another support group, Tinubu Campaign Organisation, says the APC standard-bearer only would accept to engage his counterpart when the electoral campaign kicks off in September.
The clarification was made on Sunday by the TCO Director of Media and Communication, Bayo Onanuga.
In a phone interview with The PUNCH, Onanuga urged opposition candidates to read up the Electoral Act before throwing such a challenge.