December 16, (THEWILL) – Arrangements have been concluded by the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists to host a governorship debate ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The chairman of the political committee of the union, Comrade Aniekan Udofia, disclosed this on Thursday, in a press conference to mark the official unveiling of the governorship debate Logo at the State Secretariat of the union, along Information Drive, Uyo.
He said candidates of six political parties have so far indicated interest and have been shortlisted to participate in the debate scheduled to hold on Sunday, January 29, 2023.
The parties according to him include the All Progressives Congress (APC), People’s Democratic Party (PDP) New Nigeria People’s Party, (NNPP), African Action Congress (AAC); Young Progressives Party (YPP) and African Democratic Party (ADC).
Udofia assured the leadership of the union and key stakeholders in the society that the committee was committed to achieving its mandate to organize an acceptable Governorship debate ahead of the March 2023 election.
His words: ” For months this Committee consulted with stakeholders to bring them on board under the umbrella to deliver a Governorship debate on behalf of Akwa Ibom people. As of today, the partners in this debate are over 20.
“The Governorship debate is only driven by the NUJ but is owned by many. The 2023 Akwa Ibom Governorship is scheduled to be held on Sunday, January 29, 2023, at Ibom Icon Hotel and Golf Resort at 4 pm. Only six out of the 18 political parties are invited to the debate.
“This Committee wrote a letter informing all political parties about the proposed debate, but only the six shortlisted reached out to the committee to indicate an interest in participating. We cannot take any responsibility for why 12 political parties are not shortlisted.
“The debate will be broadcast live on Eleven Radio stations, Six TV stations and streamed live on several social media platforms for the people to hear first-hand the plans the invited Governorship candidates have for the state.
“Today is for the unveiling of the official logo for the debate, the official Facebook page, a Google sheet for questions to be sent to our question bank, contacts to reach the committee and an official email address”.
Also speaking, the Chairman of NUJ, Akwa Ibom State Council, Comrade Amos Etuk, explained that the essence of the debate was to set an agenda for good governance by ensuring that the citizens made the best choice in the 2023 election.
“The NUJ Political Committee was inaugurated on August 31, 2022, and the agenda is that we must have Akwa Ibom sons who are interested in consolidating on the gains of the foundations of our previous and present leaders in making sure that the choices we make in 2023 will be the very best choice for who will succeed his Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel.
“And with less than 83 days to March 11, 2023 Governorship election, today’s unveiling of the Logo formally gives the Governorship debate an identity, a new narrative and it lets Akwa Ibom people know that the countdown has formally started.
“I want to assure you that NUJ in collaboration with our partners will ensure that this debate will come out satisfactorily to everybody. And I am happy that Akwa Ibom people are very much interested in the debate. This is a project that belongs to all of us.”