Again, Tinubu refuses to attend Arise TV town hall meeting

The Presidential Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Friday said its presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will not attend the third edition of the presidential town hall meeting hosted by Arise Television.

Bayo Onanuga, Director, Media & Publicity, APC Presidential Campaign Council made the disclosure in a statement obtained by Alabingo.com.

The Presidential town hall meeting series organised by Arise TV is slated for 4 December 2022.

While expressing surprise at the inclusion of Tinubu in its advertisement, Onanuga alleged in his statement that there was no prior consultation with him and his aides nor consent obtained from the candidate.

“Our attention has been drawn to an advertisement by Arise News in connection with a Town Hall meeting scheduled for 4 December, the statement reads in part.

“As we said in an earlier statement, the busy and hectic campaign schedules of Asiwaju Tinubu will not permit him to honour all invitations from different radio and TV stations for debate and or Town Hall meetings hence our decision for him not to start with one media organisation and later ignore the others.”

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Tinubu, and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, failed to attend the last debate citing hectic campaign schedules and the resolve not to give any television station preference, among others.

Also, explaining Tinubu’s absence, the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, in a statement by its Chief Spokesman, Mr. Festus Keyamo, said: “Tinubu did not attend the Presidential Debate for the following reasons:

“Firstly, many radio and TV networks in Nigeria have indicated interests to host such debates and out of deference to other TV and radio stations, our candidate will not be making selective appearances in some networks, whilst ignoring others. As President of Nigeria, by the special Grace of God, he intends to treat all persons and businesses fairly and equally.

“Secondly, the busy and hectic campaign schedules of Asiwaju Tinubu will not permit him to honour all such invitations by different radio and TV networks, hence our decision for him not to start with one TV station and later ignore others.

“Thirdly, our candidate had long before now realised the importance of speaking directly to Nigerians and shortly after unfolding his Action Plan as President embarked on town hall meetings, beginning with his interaction with the Business Community and other stakeholders in Kano followed by the town hall meeting and presentation by experts last week in Lagos. Next, he will be interacting with Agro and Commodity Groups in Minna, Niger State.

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“Whilst we thank Arise TV for the invitation, we want to assure Nigerians that we shall continue to hold these debate groups and Nigerians in high esteem. Nigerians will hear from our candidates loud and clear through other forums.

“Lastly, out of profound respect for Nigerians, we urge all our party structures and supporters at the grassroots to continue to organize town hall meetings to educate Nigerians on the Action Plan of our candidate as we believe a grassroots-approach to reach Nigerians will also be more profound.”

Critics, however, believe that Tinubu is shying away from debates because he is afraid to face Nigerians given his many scandals ranging from certificate forgery, alleged drug dealings, and identity theft.

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