General News of Wednesday, 21 November 2012
The flagbearer of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Hassan Ayariga, has described the upcoming IEA Presidential Debate as a mere encounter where notes are read verbatim.
“The debate is for us to come out and elaborate on our vision but if it is for us to come and read notes, today I am also bringing the notes. If they want us to debate; I am ready to debate them without notes but if they will come with notes I will also come with notes. Let us see who performs today,” Mr. Ayariga lamented.
According to Mr. Ayariga, it is not reasonable to compare the wits of a candidate who went into a debate without the help of any document with those who went in with all kinds of data at their disposal.
“We are just going to do an encounter. I don’t see it as a debate. It’s an encounter… It is an encounter because all of us are going there today with notes to read. For that one, even a class six pupil can do it so I don’t know why people are calling it a debate.
“The last time I went to the IEA, I performed so well. Go back to the IEA [debate] and review the clip. Everybody was with notes and reviewed their manifestos. Why? Anybody who can challenge me should come up.”
Mr. Ayariga said he “was the only one who went there without a pen” while all the others had ipads, manifestos and notes in their possession.
“I was talking out of wisdom so if we say that we are going for exams and we are going to the exams hall and some people go into the exam hall with their text books… what are you talking about?”
Mr. Ayariga said even though he has the least experience in politics he managed to go for the programme and excelled. The PNC flagbearer was taunted on social media platforms for what was described as an abysmal performance by many analysts. Others said his grammar was defective. But he would have none of that.
Asked whether it will not be better if he stuck to his guns of not going into the debate with notes, Mr Ayariga retorted sharply saying why should he when his “counterparts are reading their manifestoes? I can also come and read it and read the big, big English from my manifesto so that people will know that I also speak big, big English. Is that not what they want to hear?”
He said the country has had leaders who speak big English in the past but have not been able to change the fortunes of the country and he was hopeful that such a trend will change.
“Even Jesus Christ, when he comes back today and speaks English, some people will have problems with it. I am not worried about those people sitting on the social media. How many of them can stand on a platform and talk?” he queried.
“Let us not look at the big English that people speak. We should weigh issues: what we can do for our people, how we can create jobs for our people, how we can transform their lives and not the big English that we speak.”