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SaharaReporters Founder, Sowore Challenges Buhari To Presidential Debate

Omoyele Sowore, presidential aspirant on the platform of the African Action Congress (AAC), has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to a debate to be held whereever the incumbent wishes to have it.

Sowore said this while addressing AAC party members at the first state congress held at the party secretariat on Saturday, September 22, 2018 in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

According to Sowore, who is the publisher and founder of SaharaReporters, Buhari would not be willing to concede to a presidential debate because “he doesn’t have anything to say to the good people of Nigeria”.

He said: “Buhari will not be able to address Nigerians because he can’t take questions from people based on his record. What will he answer?

“We are asking for three debates: one on television and radio; another on university campuses and for the third, they are free to choose anywhere they feel like. We will go there even if it is on his hospital bed in London.

“They know that the moment we have the debate, the election will be over, because he won’t be able to answer any of his questions.

“Someone who cannot manage the petroleum sector comfortably is now given a country. How do you expect him to manage Nigeria? Money will disappoint them in this coming election. Nigerians must swing from these old people that have destroyed the country, to young people who have the ability of making it better. We want a working country; that is what we have been hearing from nooks and crannies.

“Our job is to help them retire to their respective homes and we will do it in a peaceful way. We need a new country and we don’t want the past to follow us to the future. They have dragged us to the past to the extent that we don’t even have a future; that is why we have our TakeItBack movement.”

He lamented the level of poverty in the country, saying: “So many of us were born into this poverty and misery, and we have not experienced anything good in Nigeria. People are dying on sick beds for not having N20,000 to pay at the hospital. This time is for you to experience a great Nigeria and we promise that we will deliver this all by ourselves for ourselves. We will have a brand new country that we will call our own; a country that we can be proud of.

“This should be the new definition of democracy; that the country has resources working for our people and not the other way round where you are given the other end of the stick. Your senators are taking home N13.7 million every month and, probably by the time they resume, it would have been almost doubled, while teachers are taking home N18,000 per month, which is not enough to buy recharge cards for members of the House of Representatives. That is the country we are living in.”

He also spoke on the state of development in different sectors of the country.

“Nigeria, one of the worst countries with bad roads, has left her citizens’ vehicles in a dreadful and damaging state," he said. "They feel trapped with nowhere to turn. This has brought frustration and a feeling of resentful anger. The potholes on major highways have cost lives, which had also brought sorrow, wretchedness, distress and has even resulted in families being unable to feed.”

He also highlighted the ways his movement and party have encouraged Nigerians to agitate for meaningful development.

He said: “We have now forced Nigerians to discuss a living wage. We have also forced them to inform the government to fix bad roads that are killing Nigerians each day. We have forced Nigerians to discuss diversification of the economy, to debate hard topics like whether we should export marijuana, of which I heard Ondo is its biggest grower; the economy alone can bring about $4 billion, because Coca-Cola is working on infusing it into their drinks.”

He commended the AAC members for embracing the movement, telling them: “You should congratulate yourselves that you are part of this journey. We have created our party, a party that is taking Nigeria to where her destination should be, and mind you not only Nigeria but Africa as a whole."