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General News of Thursday, 20 October 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

Mahama’s debate challenge hypocritical – Mustapha Hamid

Mustapha Hamid, Spokesperson for the opposition New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, has rubbished President John Mahama’s calls for a one-one-one debate with the NPP flagbearer as hypocritical and insincere rhetoric.

Mr. Hamid argued that if President Mahama was truly serious about debating Nana Akufo-Addo, he would have written an official letter to the NPP challenging the NPP Presidential Candidate to a debate.

Earlier today [Thursday] President Mahama reiterated his calls for a debate with Nana Akufo-Addo saying it would afford both parties to set the record straight on a number of issues including the state of the economy.

President Mahama suggested that the NPP was simply misinforming the electorate with propaganda and his challenge would ensure a statistics based debate on the economy.

Mahama not using formal approach

But Mustapha Hamid retorted: “Is that how debates are done? If you want to challenge Bukom Banku or Azumah Nelson to a boxing bout, you sit on radio and say I want Bukom Banku for a fight. Is that how it is done?”

“If you want to challenge somebody to a debate, you write to him, the presidential candidate, New Patriotic Party… you write a letter, then you sign it, then it is delivered then we give you a response. Then based on our response you can go to the public and say; I invited them to a debate and they didn’t come.”

Mr. Hamid insisted that a more formal approach from the President Mahama and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) would be required if the debate calls were to be taken seriously.

“That is his [Mahama’s] mentality for running institutions and we don’t do that. It is not acceptable in the 21st century… we don’t run institutions with our mouth. We do things properly and things are done by paper trail.”

He also reminded that the NDC had boycotted the respected platform the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) had provided for a similar debate.

Mr. Hamid said, “the IEA said that they had a timetable for presidential debates. He said that he was not interested in that so at what point did he realise that debates are suddenly interesting. So this is hypocritical, it is not sincere.”

The NDC directed all of its candidates, presidential and parliamentary, not to participate in any debate organised by the IEA ahead of the polls precisely because the IEA’s decided to hold separate debate for the flagbearers of the NPP and NDC as well as what they termed as IEAs lack of consultation before its