The All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council has said its candidate, Bola Tinubu, will not attend the presidential town hall organised by Arise Television in collaboration with the Centre for Democracy and Development.
The December 4 meeting, which will focus on education, health care, poverty and human capital, was expected to host Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar; his counterpart in the Labour Party, Peter Obi; and the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
The Director of Media and Publicity of the council, Bayo Onanuga, in a statement on Friday, said the management of the station did not consult the candidate or the council before he was scheduled to appear.
The statement read in part, “Our attention has been drawn to an advertisement by Arise News in connection with a town hall meeting scheduled for December 4. We are surprised that the TV station listed our candidate, Bola Tinubu, as a participant when there was no prior consultation with him and his aides and no consent from the candidate obtained for the advertisement.
“We deem this as professionally wrong and reckless. No media organisation should arrogate to itself the right to railroad any candidate to fit into its agenda.”
He reiterated the council’s position that Tinubu’s busy and hectic campaign schedule would not permit him to honour all invitations from different radio and TV stations for a debate and or town halls, especially in the absence of a platform that is mutually acceptable to all the candidates.
He said the candidate would continue his town halls with the strategic sectors till February 25, 2023, adding, “We, therefore, urge Arise News to stop using our candidate’s name or portrait in its advertisement, forthwith.”