Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of ruling All Progressives Congress, APC will not participate in the town hall meeting organised by Arise News for Sunday, 4 December, 2022 and any other ones by the media organisation before the February 2023 presidential election, his campaign organisation has insisted.
Bayo Onanuga, Director, Media & Publicity of APC Campaign Organisation said this in a statement issued in response to continuous broadcast by the television station that Tinubu will participate in the 4 December town hall meeting despite earlier statement that the presidential candidate will not be available for the event.
In the statement issued on Saturday, the Campaign Organisation said contrary to claims of Arise News, there is no constitutional provision mandating Tinubu or indeed, any presidential candidate to participate in any debate it organised.
The organisation also said it did not consider Arise News a credible and impartial news medium because it “has consistently shown a pattern of bias against Asiwaju Tinubu.”
While also advising APC spokespersons and campaign groups to avoid the television station, the Campaign Group also revealed that in line with its schedule of campaign activities, Tinubu left Nigeria for United Kingdom on Saturday morning in continuation of his engagements.
The statement read: “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.
“While it is trite that the media has 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 the 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 organised 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 a right to decide where he goes and events to participate in as he seeks the mandate of Nigerians to be elected as the next President of our country.
“We want to make it abundantly clear again that Asiwaju Tinubu will not participate and will not attend the Arise News Town Hall meeting slated for Sunday, 4 December, 2022 and any other ones it may plan before the February 2023 presidential election. 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.
“The APC Presidential candidate has his own schedule of campaign activities and other engagements within and outside Nigeria. One of such events is his scheduled event for Monday , December 5, 2022 at Chatham House in London where he will speak on Security, Economy and Foreign Policy.
“Asiwaju Tinubu travelled to United Kingdom early today (Saturday) for this earlier scheduled engagement. We want to reiterate for the umpteenth time that no amount of blackmail, intimidation and media bully and innuendos by the owner and management of Arise News will change the position our campaign has taken on this matter.
“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.”
PROMOTE YOUR | MUSIC| VIDEO | COMEDY SKIT | MIXTAPES HERE ON CONNECTNAIJA CALL/WHATSAPP : +2348122390211