The APC Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has explained the rationale behind his absence at the Sunday television Townhall meeting organized by Arise Television and given the reasons he would not be featuring in live television debates.
In a statement issued by his campaign spokesman, Festus Keyamo, SAN, Tinubu, however, enjoined his supporters across the country to hold town hall meetings on his behalf to explain his candidature to Nigerians.
He said he would also be holding one town hall meeting in Minna, Niger State on Monday to explain his candidature to Nigerians. 0%Reports that the absence of Tinubu at the Arise Television debate on Sunday stirred outrage among many Nigerians who said that it was an opportunity for those who want to rule to explain before an independent panel their views on issues in the polity.
Explaining his absence at the Arise Television debate, and decision not to feature in debates, Tinubu said:
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.
The explanation by Tinubu on his absence at the Arise Television debate and boycott future debates is bound to echo across the polity.