The Labour Party (LP) presidential campaign organisation says Peter Obi, candidate of the party, will no longer participate in programmes for presidential candidates that feature representatives instead.
Doyin Okupe, director-general of the campaign organisation, said this on Monday at a media briefing in Abuja.
The development comes after Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), were absent from a town hall meeting organised by Arise TV on Sunday.
While Ifeanyi Okowa, vice-presidential candidate of the PDP, represented his party, there was no representation for APC.
“I have called you this afternoon to speak on a growing trend of irresponsibility, arrogance, and disregard for the electorate, which has now gone beyond coincidence, and is at risk of becoming the norm,” Okupe said.
“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.
“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.
“The Labour Party presidential candidate, his excellency, Mr Peter Obi, and the presidential campaign organisation totally condemns this disregard for the electorate and the people, by these absentee presidential candidates.
“We firmly and irrevocably call on the Nigerian people, in entirety, to reject any presidential candidate that habitually and deceptively treats the rights of the people to hear directly from him, with disrespect, dishonour and ignominy.
“Finally, let us make it clear today, that these recurring acts will no longer be acceptable to the Labour Party presidential campaign organisation.
“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.”