‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja – The All Progressives Congress (APC) has explained the absence of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Presidential candidate of the party, at an event organised for Presidential candidates on Sunday, November 6, 2022
The event was organised by Arise Television and the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), in partnership with Vanguard Newspapers, Premium Times, Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), and the Nigerian Union of Journalists. (NUJ)
Tinubu was among four major presidential candidates earlier scheduled to attend the event, but still needed to confirm his attendance or send a representative.
Three presidential candidates, Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) and Chief Kola Abiola of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), attended the meeting.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who is out of the country, was represented by his running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa
Explaining Tinubu’s absence, the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council gave three reasons why its candidate was absent from the event.
Festus Keyamo, Director, Public Affairs and Spokespersons for the campaign Council, said, “Firstly, many radio and TV networks in Nigeria have indicated interest 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, he will be interacting with Agro and Commodity Groups in Minna, Niger State.
Keyamo added, “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.”