From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Chairmanship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for Isoko South Local Government Area in the forthcoming council election in Delta State, Victor Asasa failed to show up at a debate session with candidates of other political parties.
His counterpart for Isoko North, Christian Iteire also failed to show up at the debate held at Oleh and organised by the state council of the Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ) for candidates to show their manifestos to the electorate for the March 6, 2021 contest.
However, candidates of the main opposition party, All Progressive Congress (APC) including Deaconess Ayu for Isoko South and Cornelius Ugo for Isoko North, promised to transform their respective localities if elected.
Ayu said she was on a mission to recover the “lost glory of lsoko South,” expressing confidence to coast home with victory at the polls.
“I will be victorious at the polls because I am a candidate chosen by the people,” she insisted, adding that her administration would be anchored on 3-point agenda of peace and security; quality primary health care services; and grassroots development/empowerment.
On his part, Ogu highlighted his plans to transform Isoko North and make it a viable local government area.
He said the welfare of teachers would be of top priority, adding that his administration would curb restiveness through youth empowerment and employment as well as constructive engagement with traditional rulers, community leaders and opinion moulders.
Ogu said it was time to pay attention to things that matter and are of best interest to Isoko North people, than bother on jamborees that have become the norm of the ruling PDP.
In his remark, chairman of NUJ in the state, Michael Ikeogwu thanked the chairmanship candidates and their deputies for honouring the invitation to be part of the debate tagged “NUJ Platform”
Ikeogwu frowned at the absence of the PDP candidates, saying that the attitude was not only unprofessional but also unpalatable and an affront to the hallowed journalism profession.
He said the “NUJ will not fold its hands and watch politicians redicule our programmes. It is our constitutional duty as the fourth estate of the realm to organise this media chat. We are not partisan, we will continue to play our role to hold public office holders accountable.
“We will not take it lightly with those who flagrantly back out of this media session, perhaps they felt they have won the election.”
Ikeogwu said the media chat was borne out of the commitment of the state NUJ to let the world know that it is not going to be business as usual in the Nigerian political setting where candidates of political parties would subvert the democratic process both at the primaries and the general electons, and nobody challenges them, and at the end of their tenures, they would have nothing to show.
“That is the reason the local government has remained underdeveloped over the years. NUJ wants to reawaken the consciousness of Deltans to the fact that the candidates vying for political offices should be engaged in public discourse, where they will tell the people their programmes and policies, so at the end of their tenures, their performance will be evaluated based on their promise and statements,” he added.