As allegation and counter allegations continue to trail the next month general elections, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger/Delta Affairs, Hon Kingsley Kuku, yesterday suggested that debates should be organised for presidential candidates participating in the election.
Specifically, Kuku who spoke in Akure, Ondo State capital, during a lecture organised by the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), said the two leading contenders, the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) should face each other in a debate.
At the lecture which discussed the state of the nation and the Niger Delta development, the presidential aide pointed out that Nigerians need to ask candidates question about salient issues like corruption, infrastructure, insecurity among others.
“It is time for Nigerians to ask questions about economy, about politics, on many issues. They must ask questions so that there must be a debate. The line must be opened to Nigerians to call,” he said.
Kuku expressed confidence that his boss would not be scared to appear at the debate because he has done very well for the country, saying he deserved to be elected for the second term.
Kuku said tackling corruption should be exaggerated in the forthcoming election because of many reasons.
“Some people are saying the president is not tackling corruption, it is because they don’t understand the issue. President Jonathan has not used ICPC or EFCC to witch hunt anybody, he has even empowered the anti-graft bodies. So they should stop the issue of corruption and say another thing in their campaign.
“The people of this country will not appreciate the president now, this is not new, it has happened to other past leaders too, but I believe after Jonathan, the people will appreciate him.
“ Whether we like it or not, Jonathan is the best of all the contestants for this presidential election. Jonathan represents original Nigerian, he is a leader that has his children schooling in Nigeria, how many of our leaders are doing this?” He asked.
On the insurgents attack at the Northeast part of the country, Kuku who is also the chairman of Amnesty Programme charged the stakeholders and leaders in the region to come together and deliberate on ending the insurgency as it was done during the militants’ days in the Niger Delta.
He said the insurgency would continue in the Northeast until the leaders in the area move genuinely to end it.
In his welcome remarks, the state Chairman of NUJ, Mr. James Sowole admonished journalists in the state to discharge their duties in line with the ethics of the profession, particularly during the forthcoming general election.
He advised journalists to allow politicians play their politics while they report political activities objectively and fairly.