President Goodluck Jon­athan has challenged the presidential candi­date of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to a presidential debate at the Chatham House, London.

Jonathan, in a letter to Buhari through his Non-Governmental Organization, the Wind of Hope Foundation, signed by its Na­tional Coordinator, Mr. Ono Akpe, said he was ready to spon­sor Buhari to participate in the debate.

The APC presidential candi­date had earlier rejected taking part in a debate put together for presidential candidates for the forthcoming general elections by the Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG), citing the com­position of the body as reason for his refusal.
However, his recent outing at the Chatham House, where he outlined how he would fix Nige­ria, has generated controversy in the polity.

Jonathan said Buhari’s pre­sentation finally acknowledged the achievements of his admin­istration in growing the nation’s economy to becoming the larg­est in Africa, with a Gross Do­mestic Product (GDP) of $510 billion and maintaining a single digit inflation regime.

Jonathan’s letter to Buhari read in part: “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 actions 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 request for a presidential debate here at home in Nigeria.

“In our quest to deepen de­mocracy, which thrives on robust and constructive delib­erations that aid the electorate in making informed decisions, Wind of Hope hereby chal­lenges (or offers you a platform to debate) your excellency, to a 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.”

– The Sun