‘Present Tinubu for debates, bullying media won’t work’ — Obaigbena hits APC campaign


Nduka Obaigbena, the publisher of THISDAY newspaper and founder of Arise Television, says the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council is using blackmail to intimidate the media.


He said the campaign organisation’s “bullying” of the press is an exercise in futility.


In a publication on Monday, editors of THISDAY/Arise had called on Bola Tinubu, standard bearer of the APC, to provide a satisfactory answer on the circumstances surrounding the forfeiture of funds to the US government.


The news organisations said the media should not shy away from scrutinising any candidate that is linked to alleged drug trafficking.


They also accused the APC campaign council of “silencing free speech” over unfavourable reports.


THISDAY/Arise editors alleged that the Tinubu campaign made requests for the removal of Shaka Momodu, THISDAY editor, and Rufai Oseni, The Morning Show co-host, from their current positions.


But the ruling party’s campaign council dismissed the allegations, describing them as “baseless” while also alleging that the THISDAY founder owes taxes abroad.


In a rebuttal issued on Wednesday through Fauziya Mohammed, his chief of staff, Obaigbena said contrary to the claims of Bayo Onanuga and Dele Alake, the APC campaign’s media director and adviser on communications, respectively, THISDAY does not owe tax authorities in South Africa.


Obaigbena said if they have any evidence, they should publish it, adding that the training THISDAY and Arise Television give journalists makes them desired by all.


“No misinformation, fake news of Bayo Onanuga and Dele Alake will change Obaigbena’s global trajectory,” the rebuttal reads in part.


“The journalists at THISDAY and ARISE News Channel are doing their duty by raising pertinent questions. Rather than addressing our questions, Alake and Onanuga countered with wild and misleading allegations and fake news.


 “We did not dismiss their allegations and have addressed them frontally. We now challenge them to respond with facts to the legitimate questions of the Nigerian people through their media.


“Present your presidential candidate for town hall meetings, debates and interviews by the independent media that last for more than eight minutes, and not pre-arranged town halls where questions are pre-set, prearranged and rehearsed.


“The resort to media bullying tactics, blackmail and fake news will not work. Journalists are not your opponents in the 2023 elections.”

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