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We don’t have political debate culture but things are changing – Nnabuife

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CONVENER of Anambra Media  and Political Candidates Interactive Forum (AMPCIF), the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Anambra Newspapers and Printing Cooperation (ANPC), Sir Chuka Nnabuife has explained the idea behind the initiative of discourse between candidates vying for various political  positions in Anambra State, media executives and leaders of civil society organisations .

Nnabuife, in his opening speech during the first session of the initiative which featured a  debate between senatorial candidates organised by media organizations in Anambra State and environs said that the debate was borne out of the fact that there is no history of public interactive or debates for aspirants to political posts in the state. This he described as very odd for a state like Anambra.

According to him the initiative emerged from public response to a series which has been ongoing in one of the newspaper titles under ANPC’s stable. “In the National Light Newspaper introduced a series entitled ‘Know Those Who Seek Your Mandate’ for readers to know candidate’s missions.

In it, the candidates are interviewed because we believe in hearing from the horse’s mouth. The feedback we have been getting from readers are overwhelming. We therefore decided to expand the frontiers further and get the candidates talk to the society through the interrogation of the media and to talk to one another let voters know their missions directly.

“It so happened that this is the first time in the history of Anambra State that we are having such an event,” he noted.

After the debate, The ANPC helmsman told reporters in an interview that the event held last Tuesday, in his organisation’s headquarters’ Events Hall behind Governor’s Office, Awka that AMPCIF is all about political candidates’ direct interaction with fellow candidates, leaders of the media and helmsmen of civil society.

“The media being the fourth estate of the realm and the duly mandated eyes, ears and mouth of the people owe the society an irrevocable responsibility to provide resourceful information. Mass media therefore, should offer the people a clear direction because in such a vital issue as choice of leaders because that is what the land needs for required growth of drop. This is also very important to the media because it also affects the media if the society does not have the best leadership.

“Unfortunately, we tend not to have the culture of debate in Anambra State. This gives room for a lot of misinformation and disinformation, fake news, hate speeches and skew of messages which makes the people feel like the media is not living up to its expectations.

“It is the media’s role to get candidates and find out their aspirations and feed the society. This is exactly what we did today.

“The event came late in the period of candidates campaign but we hope that by the time we do another one, we will have a larger house of candidates and more stakeholders. Surely, it was quite challenging putting up this event but the yarnings of the people is guiding us.

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