General News of Thursday, 1 November 2012

Source: Doreen Asamoah

IEA debate was for policies not oral English - Ayariga

The Presidential candidate for the People’s National Convention (PNC), Hassan Ayariga, has broken his silence on public criticism of his performance in the recent presidential debate. He says the IEA platform was to outline policies and not for him to speak oral English.

Civil society groups and most Ghanaians have described his performance as abysmal with some describing it as very poor.

But speaking to Accra based based Citi FM, Mr. Ayariga said his performance beat all the other candidates.

“I think that I excelled even more than the President and Abu Sakara, including Nana Akufo-Addo. At the debate, I was treated unfairly because at the debate hall, you realized that all the three contestants came with some kind of booklet which they referred to. I was the only person who walked to the hall without a piece of paper. If a debate is going to be based on you coming and people coming to ask you questions; why do we go there with documents, manifestos and notes?” he said.

“I don’t see it to be a debate, but I see it to be the four political parties coming to outline their visions. So I stand tall in the first place; I stood there without a note, I stood there without a pamphlet, I stood there without manifesto to refer to but they did that. So can you compare Ayariga’s performance with their performance even though I excelled than them?” he asked.

In response to public comments that he wasn’t eloquent in his presentation and made grammatical errors, he said: “Some were just speaking oral English; speaking slangs; that is not what we are looking for. I am a German trained; 20 years I have been in Germany. If I want to speak German, none of them will understand one word. I am not here to speak German or speak slangs. I am here to outline visions and policies.”

The PNC flagbearer however admitted he may have erred in one or two instances “but even English scholars make mistakes and everyone does from time to time,” he added.