Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Benue State, Chief Dr Samuel Ortom today debated with three other candidates of different political parties at the Smile View, Hotel, in Makurdi.
The others were Barrister Boniface Oheme of All Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, Dr Iyorwuese Ligom, Labor Party, and Rev Samuel Gar, Social Democratic Party, SDP.
The event was organized by the Benue Coalition of Business and Professional Associations in conjunction with the Center for International Private Enterprises and Nigeria Elections Debate Group.
It was held at the Smile View Hotel in Makurdi.
A panel of four journalists asked the candidates questions on why each was contesting, how they would address internally generated revenue, multiple taxation, how to stem corruption, power generation, herdsmen and farmers’ violence, addressing decay in the education sector and how to boost the low morale of civil servants.
The candidates shared similar views on most of the issues stating for instance that they would address the power challenge by exploiting solar, wind, hydro and coal resources of the state by providing an enabling environment for private investors to invest in the sector.
Chief Dr Ortom promised to anchor his administration on the fear of God which he said would engender core values including transparency, accountability, integrity, truthfulness, selflessness, justice, forgiveness, reconciliation, peace and unity which he said would make development inevitable.
He said he would implement free and compulsory primary and secondary education which he would fund by generating revenue from the boost he would give to the private sector by providing it with an enabling environment for industrialization, small and medium scale enterprises as well as commercial and trading activities in addition to attracting investment into the state.
He said the initiatives would be targeted at generating massive jobs, wealth and opportunities.
The former Minister of State, Industry, Trade, and Investment pledged to dialogue with the other tiers of government to solve problems of multiple taxation and violence between herdsmen and farmers.
Chairman of the organizers, Mr. Iyornumbe Ime stated that the debate provided an opportunity for candidates to market their programs and canvass votes as well as interact with one another and members of the public at no cost.