The presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, will not accept the debate challenge thrown at him by President John Mahama because he is not ‘qualified’, the former’s spokesperson, Mustapha Hamid has said.
Akufo-Addo, Mr. Hamid told Morning Starr on Starr 103.5FM on Friday, cannot engage in a one-on-one debate with Mahama because he has never been anywhere near the presidency before thus lacking the acumen to effectively face off with Mahama.
Mahama is on record to have said Nana Addo and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia have no locus to criticise him because “none of them have ever come near the presidency” to question his competence.
“Now, people who don’t qualify to criticize you — how do they qualify to debate you? Is debate not criticism? That’s what it is. We are going to stand toe-toe and then we criticise him and say the economy is not running well… that’s debate. That’s criticism.
“So, we don’t qualify to debate him. So, we take it as such. We don’t qualify. We are not going to debate him,” argued Mr. Hamid on Starr 103.5 FM.
Mahama in an interview with Ovation Magazine and Volta Starr Radio challenged the NPP’s standard bearer for a two-man debate. Such a debate, he said will afford him the opportunity to fact check the various untruth being told by Akufo-Addo, a three-time flagbearer of the NPP.
“I have challenged him (Akufo-Addo) to a debate, I have said bring all these points you are raising one by one and let’s have a debate. Let me and you debate to the Ghanaian public about the points you are raising; inflation, infrastructure and things. But he has ran away,” Mahama told Ovation Magazine.
Akufo-Addo not running away
The comments of Mahama are obviously fallacious, Hamid retorted and are meant to mislead the general public but “it will not wash”.
“Akufo-Addo is not afraid to debate,” he told host of Morning Starr, Nii Arday Clegg Snr. He said the presidential nominee of the country’s largest opposition party is an accomplished debater and that “there is absolutely no doubt in anybody’s mind in this country about that.”
“He [Akufo-Addo] is a very good advocate in the law court and everything else,” said Hamid.
“But, the point was that the NPP’s campaign team will not kow-tow to Mahama because they are not children.
“So we’re not going to pander to his whims, when he wants something he gets it [and] when he doesn’t that’s okay. We’re not going to debate president Mahama. We are running the campaign on our own term,” he added.