2023: Tinubu’s Excuse For Shunning Arise TV Debate Infuriates Nigerians

The conspicuous absence of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, at the debate organised by the ARISE Television in collaboration with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), on Sunday, November 6, has continued to elicit very strong condemnations from Nigerians.

Neither Tinubu nor his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, showed up at the debate held in Abuja. Though the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, was equally absent, he was however represented by his running mate and Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.

But the candidates of Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, and Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Kola Abiola, were not only present but gave insights into their security and economic blueprints if voted into office.

But pouring insult into injury, the APC Presidential Campaign Council, released a statement explaining why their principal stayed away from the debate.

A statement by Festus Keyamo, director, public affairs and spokesperson, Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, gave the indication that Tinubu will not be honouring such invites in the future. The statement reads:

“The APC Presidential Candidate in the forthcoming 2023 Presidential Election, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, did not attend the Presidential Debate organised by ARISE TV on Sunday, November 6, 2022, for the following reasons:

“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, 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.”

But thoroughly embarrassed Nigerians took to twitter to lambast Tinubu, accusing him of being contemptuous of the people.

Amina De-Vawulence @Aminaruk tweeted, “Releasing press statement by this hour means his popularity has dwindled. He should surrender his structure to Peter Obi.”

King OT @GuyOb1: “This Arise Tv town hall meeting/debate is not compulsory! Any Candidate can decide to not attend! So also, is job interview. When a Candidate refused to show up for a job interview, do you employ such Candidate? Vote wisely Nigerians!!!

E.J. @Enwagboso: In some cases, it’s better to ignore and move on, than release such watery statement.

St.Tiana_I @StTianaI1: #PeterObi #Obi-dientmovement #Aries #Nigeria #nigeriadecides

I like the fact that every reasonable, logical and sane person is tagged Obi-dient.  I mean, people calling for presidential candidates to honor presidential meetings are called Obi-dients, people demanding respect

Isikotebu @Chibuikekings20: Thunder from Zambia what are you waiting for???

Mikey @mcdon024_ Shut up..Tinubu went for party in Garki…instead of coming to tell Nigerians why he wants to be President…you guys keep hiding Tinubu like palliative…we are watching..sensible Nigerians are watching too.

Source: TheNiche.

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