Tinubu goes to London, avoids AriseTV town hall meeting

Tinubu goes to London, avoids AriseTV town hall meeting

All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, on Saturday morning, left the country for the United Kingdom ahead of his scheduled engagement at Chatham House in London on Monday.

 

 

The APC standard bearer is; expected to speak on Security, Economy, and Foreign Policy.

 

 

The development is; coming on the eve of the Presidential Town Hall meeting organized by Arise News for candidates of the major four political parties.

 

 

While the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Atiku Abubakar; his counterpart in New Nigeria Peoples Party, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Labour Party’s Peter Obi, have indicated an interest in participating, Tinubu has opted out of the Sunday night town hall meeting.

 

Tinubu

 

 

His campaign team has, however, defended the APC candidate’s absence in the previous edition, citing bias and partisanship on the part of the television station’s anchors.

 

 

A statement issued on Saturday by the Director of Media and Publicity for the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Bayo Onanuga, confirmed the absence of the candidate.

 

 

The statement read, “The APC Presidential candidate has his own schedule of campaign activities and other engagements within and outside Nigeria.  One such event is his scheduled event for Monday, December 5, 2022, at Chatham House in London where he will speak on Security, Economy, and Foreign Policy.

 

 

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“Asiwaju Tinubu traveled to the United Kingdom early Saturday for this earlier scheduled engagement. We want to reiterate for the umpteenth time that no amount of blackmail, intimidation, media bullying, and innuendos by the owner and management of Arise News will change the position our campaign has taken on this matter.”

 

 

Onanuga also knocked the organizers of the town hall meeting for repeatedly promoting the event using his principal’s image and name, despite earlier notification that he won’t attend.

 

While admitting that the media has; a duty to hold public office holders accountable; as part of its role as the watchdog of society, the campaign media director described Arise News’ recent action; as ‘unprofessional’ and an act of ‘blackmail.

 

 

Not available

 

He said, “We find it shocking and downright anomalous; that Arise News continues to broadcast the participation of All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in its Presidential Town Hall meeting; scheduled to hold on 4 December 2022; despite our earlier statement that our candidate will not be available.

 

 

“We noticed that Arise News has also been; running a campaign on the so-called constitutional duty of the presidential candidates to; participate in its debate by dubiously citing section 22 of the Constitution of Nigeria; on the obligation of the Mass Media.

 

Accountable

 

 

“While it is trite that the media has; a clear constitutional duty to hold public office holders accountable; to the citizens and its role as the watchdog of the society, there is no part of the Constitution and section 22; that says a presidential candidate of any political party and; least of all, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu must participate in Arise News Town Hall event or; any media organized an event at all.

 

 

“The same Constitution grants all citizens of Nigeria including, Asiwaju Tinubu the right and; freedom of choice and association. The APC Presidential candidate has; the right to decide where he goes and; what events to participate in as he seeks the mandate of Nigerians to be; elected as the next President of our country.

 

Town hall meeting

“We want to make it abundantly clear again; that Tinubu will not participate and; will not attend the Arise News Town Hall meeting slated for Sunday, December 4, 2022, and any other ones it may plan before the February 2023 presidential election.

 

 

“Also, we want to stress that Arise News has; consistently shown a pattern of bias against Asiwaju Tinubu, and; we don’t consider the medium as credible and impartial.

 

 

“We seize this opportunity to; warn our spokesmen and supporters to; steer clear of this station over its consistent unprofessionalism and; bias against our candidate and party.”

About The Author

Chuks Ofurum is a staff of 1ST NEWS. He writes the weekly column "The Mouthpiece". [email protected]

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