President, Muhammadu Buhari
Arise News published an interview with the president on its Youtube page on Monday.
While presenting the intro to the interview, tagged: ’90 Minutes with President Buhari’, Charles Aniagolu, the presenter, and anchor ‘Nigeria, Road to 2019’ Programme stated that Buhari declined to feature live on television, and chose a recorded session instead.
Speaking on the interview conducted with the president, Aniagolu said, “Straightaway, Mr Buhari declined to be interviewed live on camera by Arise News, preferring instead to hold a recorded session only with ThisDay newspaper. And so, the Board of Editors from ThisDay spent over an hour questioning the president about the substance of his major policy signature issues such as lapses in security, the fight against corruption, the economy, poverty alleviation and the infrastructure deficit.
Eniola Bello, Managing Director of ThisDay newspaper; Kayode Komolafe, the Deputy Managing Director of ThisDay newspaper, and Segun Adeniyi, chairman of ThisDay Board of Editors, who was also former spokesman of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, conducted the interview and spoke on their experience.
Speaking on why the president declined to be interviewed live, Eniola Bello, the Managing Director of ThisDay newspaper who was in charge of setting up the interview and liaising with the presidency, said, “At the initial stage, we wanted a live interview with the Arise crew. But midway, they said ‘No’. We had set up the equipment, but around 1pm on Sunday, we were told that because of our lead story in ThisDay, reporting the pending interview, that there had been some pressure to, if not, reduce the way we were going to go to the villa.
“So, Arise crew was not allowed to come in. They said they will get NTA to record it for us, then we could take the tape from NTA. Essentially, that was what happened.”
According to a publication by ThisDay earlier on Sunday, the newspaper had initially announced that Buhari would feature as its first guest in the series of presidential debates.
It read, “As part of its many contributions to the enhancement of the country’s electoral culture and improvement of the process of electing leaders, THISDAY Newspapers and Arise News Television are beginning a presidential debate series Sunday at 10pm, with President Muhammadu Buhari and candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as the first guest.
“Although, debuting Sunday with President Buhari as the first guest, other candidates like former Vice President and candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, are to follow in no particular order but based on their availability and schedule for the interview.”
“The first of its kind, the first leg of the debate series, which is billed to hold at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, is to be anchored by panellists from both THISDAY and Arise, led by the Chairman of the two media outfits, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena.”