PDP: our candidate is ready for debate

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THE Governorship Campaign Council of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State has said its candidate in the November 16 election, Senator Douye Diri, is ready to face the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Chief David Lyon, in a debate.

Speaking in Yenagoa, the Director-General, Diri/Ewrujakpor Campaign Organisation, Dr. Nimibofa Ayawei, said Diri was not afraid to engage the people of the state in any debate.

He said: “Any debate that will have to do with the 2019 election, PDP will always be available because we want an issue-based campaign. It is the choice of the other camp to make their candidate available. I am not challenging anybody. For us, we want to always interact with Bayelsans.”

Efforts to reach the Alternate Director-General of the APC, Prof. Seiyefa Brisibe, to confirm whether the party’s candidate would be available for the debate proved abortive, as he refused to pick calls.

He also failed to respond to a text message sent to him.

An international foundation, Push Africa Foundation (PAF), has scheduled a debate in collaboration with other international organisations for the parties’ candidates ahead of the election.

PAF’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 the opportunity to sell their vision and plans to the state and enable the electorate to assess them.

Egberamen noted that the event, scheduled to hold on October 28, would be conducted independently and exclusively by key stakeholders.

She said the foundation had mobilized a Bayelsa State Election Debate Group (BED-G) comprising broadcast organizations, 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 mandate of organising the debate.

Said she: “This event will give the 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 the opportunity to sell their visions and plans to the electorate and, simultaneously, an opportunity for the electorate to assess what the candidates have to offer.

“We have mobilised a Bayelsa State Elections Debate Group (BED-G). This group is a coalition of broadcast organisations, NGOs, civil societies and faith based organisations as well as professional groups, who are committed to deepening democracy and entrenching an enduring democratic culture through organised public/media debates. We are proposing that this should be a continued culture for the people of Bayelsa State.”

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