By Ifeanyi Olannye
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, the PDP candidate for March 2 governorship election and Chief Great Ogboru, his APC counterpart, were absent at the BBC Pidgin-organised debate in Asaba on Thursday.
Also absent was Mr John Akwara, of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the debate billed to feature candidates of six political parties selected from about 50 registered governorship candidates in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the candidates who participated were Frank Esanubi of the African Action Congress (AAC), Odiakpo Obire of Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and Brando Omu of All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP).
Each of the candidates took turn to proffer solutions to problems bothering on security, economy, education, restructuring, sports and jobs creation, among others in the state, urging the electorate to vote them in.
They accused the current and past administrations of poor performance and promised to speedy up development in the various sectors to bring succor to the people, if elected.
They pledged to diversify the economy of the state through investment in agriculture and other mineral resources and create jobs.
Each of them also pledged to invest in sports to create jobs and properly engage the youths as well as address issues bothering on the physically challenged and other disadvantaged groups in the state .
Esanubi specifically pledged to create 20,000 jobs annually by releasing N1 million to each graduate of the state origin, adding that the party would budget N20 billion annually for that purpose.
He also pledges to revamp the educational system by introducing skills acquisition into the curricula of the state’s tertiary institutions to enable the graduates acquire skills outside their disciplines.
On his part, Obire promised to build industries and create opportunities for small scale businesses to thrive in the state as well as create jobs for the teaming unemployed youths.
He pledged to give loans and other financial support to those willing and capable to run their own businesses in the state.
Omu pledged to attract one industry to every local government area in the state to engage the youths and also to set up micro-finance companies to support the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).