President John Dramani Mahama last Wednesday took a swipe at the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana  Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for opting out of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) presidential debate.

The NPP said its decision not to participate in the NCCE and GBC debate was based on the fact that it was preoccupied with equally important things.

But in his introductory remark during the debate last Wednesday, President Mahama, who prides himself as the first sitting president to participate in a debate, described Nana Akufo-Addo’s decision as bad.

“It is indeed bad that the leader of an opposition has opted out. It is usually the opposition that is keen to have a debate with the incumbent but here I am,” he said.

Informed decisons

The debate sought to give the candidates an opportunity to sell their policies and programmes to the electorate to help them make an informed decision before they go to the polls on December 7.

The presidential candidates of the Progressive People’s Party, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom; Convention People’s Party, Ivor Kobina Greenstreet; National Democratic Congress, John Mahama; People’s National Convention, Dr Edward Mahama, and independent candidate, Jacob Osei Yeboah, took part in the debate.

“I feel very proud that I’m the first sitting president to have participated in a debate in 2012 and I’m participating again,” President Mahama said.

President Mahama had earlier expressed his readiness to debate Nana Akufo-Addo one-on-one to discount the numerous claims of mismanagement by his government.

“How can I run from a debate? I want a productive debate, one-on-one with Nana Akufo-Addo. What they are talking about is the IEA. I want a debate on all the contentious issues he has raised. And I will respond and Ghanaians will be the judge,” the President had said earlier.