The Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has faulted the criticism of the two leading opposition parties on the absence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Sunday night Arise TV presidential candidates debate.
The ruling party PCC said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) are confused for making an issue out of Tinubu’s well-thought-out decision to follow his campaign plan.
A statement by the spokesman of PDP Presidential Campaign Management Council, Kola Ologbodiyan in Abuja on Monday accused Tinubu and his running mate, Senator Kassim Shetimma of being afraid to face Nigerians, hence their absence at the debate.
The Director General of the LP Presidential Campaign Council, Dr. Doyin Okupe, after the debate which had three presidential candidates and one vice presidential candidate in attendance, said candidates that failed to appear for the talk show have assumed the position of emperors.
In a reaction, the APC Campaign Council Director of Media and Publicity, Bayo Onanuga in a statement said that the positions of the two opposition on the absence of Tinubu at the Arise TV debate were ridiculous.
The statement reads: “We read with amusement the ridiculous position of Atiku/Okowa Campaign Council and that of Labour Party/Peter Obi on the absence of our presidential candidate, Asíwájú Bola Ahmed Tinubu, from the poorly organized Town Hall debate session by Arise TV.
“The separate press releases from these two dead-on-arrival presidential campaign offices sought to make an issue out of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s well-thought-out decision to follow his campaign plan.
“The more absurd of the two positions was the one canvassed by the spokesperson of the Atiku/Okowa campaign. The PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar didn’t also attend Arise News Town Hall Meeting.
“Yet his spokesman, out of joblessness and lack of productive venture attacked our candidate, perhaps in pursuit of a media mileage that their campaign badly needs to divert attention from their failing presidential bid.
“We believe that even a palace jester should have a moment of self-introspection. If this had been done, the statement would have been unnecessary.
“Instead of PDP to tell Nigerians why its presidential candidate has not returned to Nigeria after their purposeless visit to United States where he and his other 15 peripatetic adults were given a cold shoulder by US senior officials, the spokesperson is busy chasing shadows.”
Onanuga further said, “We want to state again for the attention of both PDP and LP, that Asiwaju Tinubu will not be railroaded into media appearances and debates.
“Asiwaju Tinubu and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima have their campaign schedule that they are following and they have been holding conversations with Nigerians at Town Hall meetings and other fora.
”The Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council has made its position on debates known in a statement issued by our Director of Public Affairs, Mr Festus Keyamo, SAN and that position remains.
“We recognize that both PDP and LP have to use Asiwaju Tinubu’s name with the hope that their floundering campaign will gain some traction. Nigerians witnessed the show of shame and despicable exchange on live television between, Mr Peter Obi, the candidate of LP and Dino Melaye, one of Atiku-Okowa’s palace jesters.
“Nigerians will certainly not vote for candidates and political parties that cannot maintain decorum and basic decency on national television.”