President John Dramani Mahama has taken a swipe at the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo-Addo, for opting out of Wednesday’s presidential debate.

The NPP said its decision not to participate in the National Commission for Civic Education and GBC debate was based on the fact that it is pre-occupied with equally important things.

But in his introductory remark during the debate Wednesday, President Mahama, who proud 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 the 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.

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

It was participated by 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.

“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 discounts 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.