With the campaign windows open for candidates of the 2019 general elections, the Public Affairs Officer of the US Consulate in Lagos, Russell Brooks, on Friday urged Nigerians to engage in issue-based campaigns.
Brooks spoke on Friday in Ibadan at a workshop organised by Fulbright Language Scholars’ Association, Nigeria (FULSAN) in partnership with the consulate.
Brooks urged the electorate tobe bold enough to always ask politicians what they would do for them if elected.
“I think that sort of issue-based campaign would be beneficial for all Nigerians.
“My comments were directed to encouraging Nigerians to focus on issues as they evaluate candidates as they campaign for all elective posts,” he said.
Brooks, who also reacted to the visa controversy concerning former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, said granting of visas had always been a confidential issue.
“In the papers, there has been this issue for quite sometimes but the position of the US Mission has remained the same.
“The issue of visa is a confidential matter.
“We don’t discuss individual visa status of any person whether they be high ranking officials or whether it be a presidential candidate or whether it be an average citizen.
“Anyone who applies for a visa knows that there are visa records that are confidential and considered private matters by the US government.
“We will never discuss that in public,” Brooks said.
The President of FULSAN, Tolu Akinwole, in his remarks, said the workshop was to bring stakeholders and policymakers in the education sector together to proffer solutions to nagging problems.
Akinwole, who was represented by Oladoyin Abiona, said that the group in partnership with the US Mission had been supporting such workshops.
“In 2018 alone, FULSAN in partnership with the US Mission provided over $16,000 to fund these workshops.
“The workshops had trained 350 English language teachers in public secondary schools.
“We want to address challenges such as lack of teaching resources for teachers, overcrowded classrooms, and dilapidated structures as well as upgrade internet facilities so that teachers can go online for materials,” he said.
The Acting Permanent Secretary in the Oyo State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Ibironke Iyabode, who was represented by Mr Oladipo Joseph, stated that partnering with the government would make the programmes more effective.
She said that this would go a long way in boosting education in the state.
The theme of the workshop was: ‘Teaching Resources: Availability, Applicability and Appropriateness.’’
The workshop had in attendance 150 English language teachers drawn from public secondary schools in Ibadan.