By Emem Idio – Yenagoa
An International foundation, Push Africa Foundation (PAF) has concluded plans to organised a debate for the governorship candidates of political parties in Bayelsa State ahead of the November 16 governorship election in the state.
The foundation’s Country Director, Egberamen Doris, described the debate as an important landmark in the state’s democratic journey saying it would deepen democracy and the growing maturity of governance and politics in the state.
She said the proposed debate would give the candidates an opportunity to sell their vision and plans to the state and give the electorate the forum to assess the candidates.
Egberamen noted that the event scheduled to hold October 28, would be conducted independently and exclusively by key stakeholders.
She said the foundation mobilised a Bayelsa State Election Debate Group, BED-G, comprising the broadcast organisation, Non-Governmental Organisation, NGOs, civil society groups, faith-based organisations and professional bodies for the event.
Egberamen described the BED-G as a carefully selected non-partisan, non-religious and non-profit oriented group under the supervision of PAF with the primary mandate of organizing the debate.
She said: “This event will enable the Bayelsa State electorate the opportunity to hear firsthand from the gubernatorial candidates; their intentions and aspirations through an equal opportunity platform. Sponsorship for this event is derived from funding from international donor agencies and other local and international interest groups.
“It is both an expression of the deepening of democracy and a milestone that underscores the growing maturity of governance and politics in the state. It will give the candidates an opportunity to sell their vision and plans to the state’s electorate and, simultaneously, an opportunity for the Electorate to assess what the Candidates have to offer.
“We have mobilized a Bayelsa State Elections Debate Group, BED-G, this group is a coalition of broadcast organizations, NGOs, civil society and faith-based organization as well as professional groups who are committed to deepening democracy and entrenching an enduring democratic culture through organized public/media debates plus we are proposing that this should be a continued culture for the people of Bayelsa State.
“The BED-G is a carefully selected non-partisan, non-religious and non-profit oriented group under the supervision of PUSH AFRICA FOUNDATION with the primary mandate of organizing and hosting a 2 hour live televised debates for all key gubernatorial candidates contesting for the forthcoming election come November 16th 2019.
“PUSH AFRICA’s core objective is advocacy for poverty reduction in Nigeria and Africa by providing opportunities for the youth and women to engage in entrepreneurial development and capacity building programmes both in the vocational and agricultural sector as we think this will help reduce unemployment and ensure sustainable job creation and subsequently drive economic growth in Nigeria.
“We have been interested and strongly involved in the leadership and governance of the democratic system in Nigeria and Africa; we believe that when credible leaders are elected into public office it will consequently drive development and reduce corruption and poverty to a great degree.”