AUSTIN OYIBODE, EDITOR
As it happened at the debate organised by Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria where President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar shunned the debate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and Great Ovedje Ogboru were conspicuously absent at the governorship debate organised by the British Broadcasting Corporation held at Asaba, the Delta state capital.
Checks by Emeraldng.com revealed that six out of the 50 governorship candidates on the INEC list for the March 2 election were invited and the six were said to have given the signature to the debate put together by the BBC pidgin news and a media consultant, Lady Ejiro Umukoro.
Umukoro, who was the brain behind the BBC pidgin news debate has been making wave as a media consultant where she had organised several training programmes for journalists and won series of awards.
The debate which held at Orchid Hotels had only three contestants, Brando Omu of All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP), Odiakpo Obire of Progressives Peoples Alliance and Frank Esanubi of African Action Congress as the only candidates present at the debate.
There was no communication to the contrary to indicate reasons as to why Okowa, Ogboru and John Akwara of SDP could not show up for for the debate, neither did they send representatives to give reasons for their inability to show up.
It is noteworthy that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa during his campaigns challenged Great Ogboru and other candidates to a debate, a debate which Ogboru earlier turned down.
Among the three candidates who presented themselves for the debate, Frank Esanubi was adjudged as candidate with the best programme for the state.
Besides his ability to marshal out his agenda for the development, Esanubi, the 41-year-old governoship candidate was able to convince the audience as havimg better programmes for the development of the state.
His strong point was the plan to give N1million to Delta graduates after completing the national youth service corps and having acquired some entrepreneural skills to establish business which could make them self-reliant and job creators.
Answering a question on why should he plan to dash out N1million to graduates, Esanubi said it is not dash but is aimed at helping them to establish them to earn a living for themselves and become entrepreneurs.
Banking on his youthfulness and the “Not Too Young To Rule” campaign, Esanubi said Delta youths have suffered enough and it’s time for youths to take over the state from the old people who have been holding the state ransom over the years.
He said old people can no longer do the job of running the affairs of the nation as they have all failed and disappointed the people of Nigeria and Delta state.
Brando Omu of AGAP told the audience that the ruling party PDP has not done anything good for Delta people, saying he is the best candidate with the requisite experience to put the state on the comity of developed states in Nigeria.
Omu believed that Delta state is sick and he has the needed drug to cure the state of its economic sickness, adding that his government would set up industries in the three senatorial districts to create employment for all Deltans of all walks of life.
Obire of PPA said he is tired of everything about the state, insisting that as an economist, he has the economic blueprint to transform the economy of the state.
He state the state is failing because the governor currently at the helm of affairs is a medical doctor, saying medical doctors can only cure humans of sickness but cannot cure the economy of the state.