Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress
The presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar were both absent at the first edition of the presidential town hall’ series organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development and Arise.
The programme was designed for presidential candidates to speak on their plans for Nigerians with regard to security and the economy.
According to the programme, four candidates were listed to participate in this round of the meeting namely Atiku of PDP, Obi of Labour Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso of NNPP and Kola Abiola of PRP.
Explaining why Tinibu was absent, the director, Public Affairs and spokespersons, Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, 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.”
On his part, the main opposition party’s candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, flew into the country on Saturday night from the United States of America where he visited as part of his campaign activities.
Also, Kwankwaso who noted that technology was crucial to security, said “some of us who are extended members of the secure architecture are very concerned and ashamed that the security can’t spot criminals especially in these times of using telephones.”
Meanwhile, there was however a mild drama at the ‘presidential town hall’ organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development and Arise as angry supporters of the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi, almost disrupted the programme in protest over allowing the vice presidential candidate of the PDP, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, to participate at the gathering.
The disagreement led to a rowdy session just before the meeting began.