The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers’ Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU), has disclosed plans to host political debates as part of their contributions towards restoring good governance and accountability among politicians ahead this year’s general elections.
The project, tagged, ‘The Mace Debate’ is being organised in partnership with Society for Equity Justice and Peace (SEJUP) and Bring it on Africa, non-governmental organisations.
The debates are scheduled to hold on the 1st and 2nd of February, 2023.
Addressing reporters at a press briefing in Awka, Anambra State, the Chairman, RATTAWU in the state, Mrs Maureen Stone-Enujioke, said the targeted politicians were candidates of various political parties contesting for seats at both Red and Green chambers of the National Assembly.
She expressed optimism that the debate, which she said would be streamed live by media houses in the state would offer the candidates opportunities to prove their worth to millions of Nigerians, especially in their constituencies.
On his part, Chairman, State Council of NUJ, Dr Emeka Odogwu, said candidates would be expected to field questions from seasoned panelists, journalists, civil society groups, professional bodies, civil servants, students, commercial drivers, among others.
He added that residents outside the venue would also be given opportunity to ask questions from the candidates on their plans to move the state forward.
Odogwu said “The debate is expected to provide level playing field for the candidates to present their manifestoes to the public to enable them make informed decisions on their choice candidates during the election,” he added.
General Manager, SEJUP, Dr Emma Ezenwaji said the debate was necessary in view of the poor representation of many lawmakers in recent times, while President, Bring it on Africa, Chigbo Nweke promised to provide the technical and logistics support to ensure successful debate.
The Southeast Vice Chairman of RATTAWU, Prince Emeka Kalu explained that the groups decided to combine efforts to set pace in Southeast and Nigeria, and as well contribute in enthroning good leadership in the country through the program, and expressed hope that the event will yield the desired result at the end.
The team earlier paid a courtesy visit to the Managing Director of ABS, Sir Chido Obidiegwu who commended them for organizing such an event which he observed will help in delivering eloquent and competent leaders in the forthcoming general elections, and assured them of the total support of the ABS in the areas of comprehensive coverage and reporting of the debate.