The Editor-in-Chief of the Arise TV and ThisDay newspaper, Chief Nduka Obaigbena, has reached out to the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu to resolve their issues.
Recall that the Obaigbena-owned media platforms and the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) have been at loggerheads after the APC PCC in a joint statement by Dele Alake and Bayo Onanuga, who are both members of the council, verbally attacked Obaigbena over the editorial published by the media organisations’ boards of editors.
The PCC in the statement accused Obaigbena and the media platforms of corruption and lacking the moral rights to moderate public discourse.
The media organisations responded to the APC PCC accusations, while Obaigbena through his Chief of Staff, Fauziya Mohammed in a statement captioned “Lies Have Short Legs, They Do Not Run Far: The Fake News From Bayo Onanuga and Dele Alake,” said that the APC PCC should address the questions by the organisations’ journalists rather than counter them with wild and misleading allegations and fake news.
Arise TV and ThisDay Newspaper had accused Tinubu of dodging their interview requests but Tinubu’s camp allegedly responded by seeking the sacking of its TV anchor, Rufai Oseni.
The statement read 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 8 minutes, and not pre-arranged Townhalls where questions are pre-set, pre-arranged and rehearsed.
“The resort to media bullying tactics, blackmail and fake news will not work. Journalists are not your opponents in the 2023 elections. “When they go low we go high.””
The two members of the APC PCC, Onanuga and Alake, soon fired back at the Editor-in-Chief of the Arise TV and ThisDay newspaper, Obaigbena, over his response to the duo’s allegations against the media groups, describing him as “a congenital blackmailer and hustler,” whose statement was a mere “rambling.”
Onanuga and Alake said that Obaigbena’s “largely diversionary composition was an attempt to deodorise his ethical problems,” as he “tried to deflect attention from those pertinent issues we raised about ethics.”
They maintained that “There is nothing he said to creditably detract a jot from our accurate summation of his well-known perverse and ignoble approach to media practice over the years, a practice that continues to undermine the integrity of journalism profession in the country.
“In his first statement attacking us, Obaigbena craftily attempted to mis-characterise as an attack on free speech, our principled stand against his blackmail to have Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu appear on Arise TV and its PDP sponsored Town Hall meetings.
“In the second statement, he was still adamant that our candidate must attend his Town Hall debate, despite our stance that our candidate is already executing another communications strategy to reach the most important target: the Nigerian voters.
“We repeat again: We will not make our candidate available to validate a scheme which, in the light of unassailable information at our disposal, is nothing but a racket by the Arise TV owner, designed to embarrass our candidate.”
However, sources said Obaigbena on Friday, December 22, has reached out to Tinubu’s camp to resolve the disagreement between them.
“Obaigbena reached out to resolve his issue with Tinubu.
“They met at the house of former Ogun State Government, Chief Segun Osoba to discuss how to de-escalate the problem,” one of the sources said.