Malam Naziru Mikailu, Group Executive Director, Digital and Editorial of Media Trust Group, says the company decided to invite four candidates to its debate in Kano State, because data shows that the parties that the invitees represent were the ones leading nationally.
He said this in his welcome address at the debate organised in conjunction with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).
The invited candidates were Muhammad Sani Abacha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Engr. Bashir Ishak Bashir of Labour Party and Abba Kabir Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).
Aside from the NNPP Candidate, other invitees attended the event which held at Bayero University, Kano.
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“There are four candidates in this debate, but we know more than four are contesting this election. We do not mean to prevent anyone from reaching out to the people through this platform, but we settled for this number because of what data shows nationally.
“We have no other interest to protect but that of the public. The right to vote and be voted for as enshrined in the constitution must be respected, so we have utmost regard for all the candidates in the election and could have brought everyone under a roof if we could. However, circumstances did not allow that,” Mikailu said.
On why Kano was chosen to host the programme, he said, “The history of Media Trust is incomplete without our dear state, many of our directors and stakeholders are from here. Our second largest office as a media company is in Kano. Many of our readers are in Kano; most of the active voters in Nigerian elections are in Kano. When Kano sneezes, Nigeria catches cold. Our nation is incomplete without this great state. Therefore, I can guarantee that we made the right decision on our choice of Kano for this important event.”
The event tagged, “Trust Nigeria 2023 Elections Debate,” was moderated by Dr Suleiman Suleiman, Deputy Editor in Chief of Daily Trust and Chairman, Editorial Board of the newspaper.
The candidates spoke on reasons they should be the next governor of the state known for its booming commercial activities.
They also highlighted their policieson Education, Commerce, Agriculture, Water and Sanitation, Housing and Infrastructural Development, and Social Policy.
Meanwhile, there have been comments for the debates to hold in other parts of the country.
Some social media users who followed the event requested that a similar one should be organised in their respective states.
One Didi Usman wrote, “Thank you very much Daily Trust, we look forward to hosting similar debate between gubernatorial aspirants in my state Jigawa. Because we’ve been left behind in this regard.”
Mustapha Dan Abacha Fky, another Facebook user, said, “Thank you very much. We are waiting for such thing to happen here in Gombe state.”
For Aliyu Maggi, “We want Daily Trust to re-organize the same event in my dear state, Katsina.”
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