Flagbearer of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Mr. Hassan Ayariga, has pleaded with Ghanaians and the general public to forgive him as he will not be able to represent his party at the IEA presidential debate slated to take place on Tuesday, November 20.
He hinted that though he could make it to the programme, he will not participate chiefly because of his current health status, and also because of the death of the former Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama.
Sounding taciturn in an interview with Peace FM and Okay FM Monday morning, Mr. Ayariga signaled that he begun coughing after he had survived an accident in Bawku few days ago.
“Our car somersaulted with fifteen people on board…I was part of the convoy”, he said.
Mr. Ayariga added that he deems it right to boycott the debate in memory of the late former vice president of Ghana who died on Friday November 16.
“I just lost a father and he was buried yesterday (Sunday). As a person who comes from the same region, I believe that my people will understand that the man must be mourned. If the president has declared a five day of mourning, I think that we should all accord him respect and postpone the IEA (presidential debate) to three days or one week”.
“After mourning the former vice president, I think we can go on with the debate. I think he deserves it and we should give him that honour”, he said while seriously coughing.
Clearly, satisfied with the stance he has taken, Mr. Ayariga maintained that he wouldn’t risk partaking in a debate like IEA, which is structured to benefit the organizers.
“The IEA is out for their own ambition and their own thing…but I think that as a nation too, we must set our goal right and respect the past and former leaders of this nation…my brothers and sisters are mourning in the North and I am out there (at IEA) making noise and shouting because I want votes?” he asked.
But a staunch member of the PNC and Policy Analyst of the party, Atik Mohammed opines that this is the worst excuse any flagbearer can come up with in an attempt to avoid a public debate.
Obviously dissatisfied with his flagbearer’s position, Atik said Mr. Ayariga shouldn’t put out as if he is more Catholic than the Pope; that he is more grieved over the death of the former veep than the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
He assured his flagbearer of doing whatever it takes to get him as fit as a fiddle in order to partake in the debate and espouse the policies the PNC would implement if voted into power to Ghanaians.
“There is more to this than this man is telling us and I think it is a scandalous move he wants to take but the party wouldn’t side with him. Everyone is morning so his call on the IEA to postpone the event to two or three weeks isn’t in the right direction because by that time elections would have even been over”, he stated.
Atik Mohammed noted that it was completely unacceptable for his flagbearer to indict the IEA by saying that the platform they offer to presidential candidates does not relatively transform into votes.
“We won’t sit down for this disgrace to fall on the PNC. If we allow him to go ahead with his plans, we are in serious trouble because he has already caused us enough damage,” he soberly added.