Ahead of Sunday’s governorship debate to be hosted by the Channels Television for candidates of the various political parties participating in the September 19 poll, the All Progressives Congress, (APC) has warned the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Godwin Obaseki, not to run away from the debate, as according to the party, he had shown a penchant for giving flimsy excuses for non-appearance in debates.
In a statement on Thursday by the Chairman of the Edo State APC Media Campaign Council, John Mayaki, the party on the other hand, promised that the people would be treated to erudite debate from the APC candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG.
Meanwhile, the PDP had been upbeat about the report of an online opinion poll conducted by a television station in partnership with the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room for the general public to select their preferred candidate to feature at the scheduled debate in which the PDP candidate garnered more votes than the APC candidate.
Taunting Governor Godwin Obaseki who is also the candidate of the PDP, Mayaki said, “Anyone that can prevail on Mr. Governor to be present at the Channels debate should do so, so that he can rescue some of his chances of victory at the polls. His absence from two debates already has put people on edge. Why is he shying away from answering questions if he knows that he has truly done enough to warrant re-election?
“As for the APC, don’t worry, all your questions will be answered by the erudite and sagacious politician who is most fit and proper to be Governor of Edo State come November 12, 2020. If he runs from the Channels debate, Edo people will make up their minds on him as an unserious fellow, who was never prepared for governance. There is enough time for him to arrange all his schedules, so no excuse of ‘I have to meet up with another appointment’ will come up, just as in the BBC experience or the earlier one organised by the Nigeria Elections Debate Group in which the Governor claimed he never got invite for participation.”
Underscoring the import of the debate, the APC campaign spokesman explained that debates were a very important part of free and fair democratic election, noting that all the advanced countries of the Western world adopted debates because it allowed people to have a glimpse of how brilliant and purposeful the different candidates can be when faced with each other’s ideas.
“If you wanted to buy a product,” he said, “would you not like to compare the specifications of all the available options?” Mayaki queried.
Celebrating the outcome of the online poll which result was announced on Tuesday, special adviser to the governor on media and communications strategy, Crusoe Osagie boasted of how Obaseki “trumped” Ize-Iyamu by well over 17 points with the governor scoring 57.73% against Ize-Iyamu’s 40.07%.
Members of the public were asked to vote for the gubernatorial candidates of their choice from among the 14 listed, including Godwin Obaseki, PDP; Osagie Ize-Iyamu, APC; Jones Osagiobare YPP; Lucky Osagie Idehen, APGA; Felix Obayangbon, SDP, and nine others.