The Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Council, Comrade Chuks Ehirim says that the union is set to organise a public debate for chairmanship candidates in all the contending political parties in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) for the March 16th council election.
Ehirim made this known when the chairmanship candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) Hon. Abdullahi Adamu, popularly known as Candido and his campaign team, paid him a courtesy visit in his office at the NUJ FCT secretariat.
The chairman noted that the era when leaders are elected based on sentiments is over, adding that the visit by Adamu and his campaign team was a sign that politicians have come to realise the importance of journalists in the society and the role they play.
"Nobody in this country is more patriotic than Nigerian journalists. Even the democracy that exists in Nigeria today was fought for by Nigerian journalists, but today, journalists have been relegated to the background. But you gave us that respect by your visit.
"We have taken the responsibility that we will make sure that the March 16 election is going to be free and fair. We are going to organise a debate for all candidates in the various political parties to come and tell us what they have to offer if elected. Any candidate who shies away from the debate, marks the beginning of his failure.
"We are going to put people on ground to ensure that there will be no manipulation of election results. We are concerned that poor leadership is having negative effect in a country like Nigeria where people assume political offices without being duly elected. We are going to work to achieve a level playing ground for the election," he said.
Earlier in his address, the CPC candidate had commended the leadership of the NUJ for the good work the union is doing to ensure that there is credible reportage in the polity of the nation, saying that journalists should assist them more to enlighten the people of Nigeria on the importance of local government elections, for them to see the reason to come out and vote the right people.
"You can do us better favour, if you educate Nigerians on the importance of the local government elections, for them to ensure that they come out to vote and to vote the right person in office, so that they at the grassroots they will feel the positive impact of the dividends of democracy ," he added.