The Bola Tinubu campaign organisation says its presidential candidate has the constitutional right to choose which platform to share his views.
The campaign organization’s spokesperson, Bayo Onanuga, reiterated that Tinubu wouldn’t be attending the Arise TV town hall gathering in a statement released on Saturday.
Four presidential contenders were slated to attend the third town hall meeting in the broadcast media’s series on December 4, it was announced on November 25.
The Tinubu campaign organization responded to the news with sharp condemnation and charged the media outlet of neglecting to get in touch before airing the invitation.
Arise TV was cautioned by the campaign organization not to use its candidate’s image in commercials for the town hall.
In response, Arise TV stated that all candidates for public office must “answer to queries from independent journalists” while refusing to remove the APC candidate’s name and image.
The media house quoted section 22 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.
The Tinubu campaign responded to the development by labeling Arise TV’s persistence as “blackmail, intimidation, and media bullying.”
It further stated that Tinubu had left for the UK and will be speaking at Chatham House about security, the economy, and foreign policy.
The statement reads:
“Despite our earlier statement that our candidate will not be available, we find it shocking and downright anomalous that Arise News continues to broadcast the participation of All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in its Presidential Town Hall meeting scheduled to hold on 4 December, 2022.”
We noticed that Arise News has also been promoting the sham constitutional requirement that the presidential candidates attend their debate by questionable referencing section 22 of the Constitution.
A presidential candidate from any political party, least of all Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is not required to participate in the Arise News Town Hall event or any media-organized event at all, despite the cliché that the media has a clear constitutional duty to hold public office holders accountable to the citizens and its role as the watchdog of society.
All Nigerian citizens, including Asiwaju Tinubu, are guaranteed the rights of association and free speech under the same constitution. As he seeks Nigerians’ approval to become the country’s next president, the APC presidential candidate has the right to choose the places and activities he attends.