APC, 15 other parties shun governorship debate
CANDIDATES of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Prince Abubakar Audu and 15 other parties yesterday shunned the governorship debate that was organised by the Coalition for Popular Participation and Credible Election in Kogi State (CoPPCEK)
The coalition is made up of the Justice, Development and Peace Commission of Idah and Lokoja Dioceses of the Catholic Church, Council of Ulamas, the Correspondent Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
In his opening remarks the coordinator of the coalition Rev. Fr. Leonard Onu se Odemeja indicated that the debate was an opportunity for the candidates to inter phase with the electorates in a manner that the common man can have a platform to hold his leader accountable on promises made.
He said despite the belief that election debates are not new many people were aware of it.
Fr. Odemeja maintained that invitations were sent out to all the 22 political parties, adding that about 19 sent in acknowledgement of having received the invitation. However during the event only seven political parties candidates showed up. Those present for the debates included the candidates of PPN, PDP, NCP, LP, APGA and DCP.
Progressive Peoples Alliance’s candidate (PPA), Enesi Ozigi said that if voted in to power, his administration would focus more in reviving the educational fortunes of the state.
Ozigi also promised the people of Kogi West of his commitment to massive infrastructure development in the state, when voted into power.
Ozigi gave the assurances yesterday at a zonal rally in Kabba stressing that the time for real transformation was now.
According to him, “teachers will be paid well under my administration and we will improve school infrastructures to create a conducive environment for learning. Health and social security will also be a major concern for our government. With the poverty level in the state today, there is no way our rural women and children can have access to quality healthcare without government intervention.”
“I stand before you today to pledge that the satanic joint account between the state and Local Government areas will be abolished by our government. A vote for PPA on November 21 is a vote for credible leadership and development,” he assured.
The APC candidate and those of the other 15 parties failed to either show up or send representatives and yet no reason was given.
According to the coordinator “This debate is basically a platform for the contestants to interface with the electorates, let the electorate have a good idea of what the candidates have in stock for them.
“This feedback is like more or less a feedback mechanism especially for those who had opportunity to rule the State before to feel the pulse of the electorate as per their performances before and the electorates can now hold them by their words whoever emerges Governor.”
On the apathy on the part of the contestants he said it was not a new issue to Nigerians adding that it is rather legendary, however he said with the election everything would start changing as the change is going to be a gradual thing.