The Labour Party has said that its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, would not be speaking at debates organized for those running for president if others send representatives to those events.
Recall that Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were absent at the town hall meeting organized by AriseTV.
Although Atiku was represented by Ifeanyi Okowa, vice presidential candidate of the PDP, Tinubu sent no representative but said his campaign schedule would not accommodate townhall meetings or debates.
Reacting to this development, Doyin Okupe, director-general of the campaign council, described the situation as “growing trend of irresponsibility” and total disregard for the electorates.
“On Monday, 22nd August, 2022, the Nigerian Bar Association invited the leading presidential candidates to address her annual bar conference and the Nigerian people at this epic occasion. The presidential candidate of the APC sent his vice-presidential candidate to represent him,” Okupe said.
“Again, on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 13th and 14th, 2022, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry invited the major presidential candidates to interact with them and the Nigerian people, on their economic and general policy initiatives as a prelude to the presidential election.
“While his excellency, Mr. Peter Obi, and other invited candidates appeared in person, the presidential candidate of the APC sent his vice-presidential candidate to represent him.
“Once again, yesterday, the 6th November 2022, at the first Arise TV town hall meeting, in contradiction to the understanding reached with the organisers about allowing only presidential candidates to attend the event, the vice-presidential candidate of the PDP was allowed to represent his presidential candidate.
“While our candidate, Mr Peter Obi, and our vice-presidential candidate, Dr Yusuf Baba-Ahmed, are prepared at all times to engage other candidates and the Nigerian people in any duly scheduled debates, townhall meetings and any other appearances as designated and scheduled, this election season, they will only be prepared to mount the podium, with their peers in this presidential race, and not with any surrogates or diversionary delegated representation.”
Okupe urged Nigerian electorates to reject Atiku, Tinubu and other candidates who turn down invitations to speaking engagements.