Posted by News Express | 2 February 2015 | 3,353 times
Less than 24 hours after he promised not to shy away from any future media debate, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.), changed his mind and announced his boycott of tomorrow’s presidential debate organised by the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), ARISE Television and Channels Television.
In a statement he issued yesterday in Abuja, Director of Media and Publicity, APC Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mallam Garba Shehu, had said that Buhari would no longer shy away from media debates, but “is ever ready to address any issue put before him.”
Shehu was reacting to the criticisms that trailed Buhari and APC’s pull-out from the traditional presidential debate organised by the Nigeria Election Debate Group (NEDG) in collaboration with the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).
However, the ink on the paper on which the statement was issued was yet to dry when the Director of Strategy, APC Presidential Campaign Organisation, Dele Alake, announced that Buhari would not attend the Channels/Arise TV/NPAN debate scheduled to hold at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
Mr Alake made this declaration on Channels Television while appearing as a guest on Channels’ flagship breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily. He accused some Nigerian media organisations of being compromised, saying that he could not vouch for the independence of some of the organisers of the debate. The same reason had been given for boycotting the NEGD/BON debate.
Spokesman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, had accused APC of “shielding Buhari from intellectual discussion” – a charge which APC vehemently denied.
•Photo shows Buhari.
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