The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council has said the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, did not attend the presidential town hall organised by ARISE TV on Sunday, because his “busy and hectic campaign schedules” will not permit him to honour such invitations by different radio and TV networks.
Arise TV in collaboration with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) had organised the debate for presidential candidates to tell Nigerians what they would do if elected, but Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were absent.
In a statement, Director, Public Affairs and Spokesperson, Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, and Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, said Tinubu has been interacting with the masses directly.
The statement reads in parts, “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. Tomorrow (Monday) he will be interacting with Agro and Commodity Groups in Minna, Niger State.
“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 candidate 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 organise 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.”