By Chinelo Obogo, Lagos

Peter Obi’s Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) has said that going forward, he would not participate in ‘mixed’ debates where other presidential candidates are absent.

The Director General of the Obi-Datti Campaign Organisation, Doyin Okupe made this known at a press conference in Abuja on Monday where he said that Obi will no longer debate with surrogates or running mates and will back out of any debate even at the last minute should other presidential candidates fail to show up.

At the town hall held in Abuja on Sunday, the presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar were absent. While the running mate to Tinubu, Kashim Shettima was absent, his PDP counterpart and Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, represented Atiku. Besides Obi, Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and Kola Abiola of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) were the presidential candidates present.

On Monday, the Deputy Director General of Obi’s PCC, Oseloka Obaze, on his Twitter page, accused Arise TV of breaking their own ground rules and shifting the goalposts during the presidential town hall it organised for presidential candidates.

“Yesterday, at the presidential Town Hall, Arise TV management broke their own ground rules and shifted the goalposts in the middle of the game. A presidential town hall or debate means exactly that in letter and spirit. Henceforth, Labour Party’s presidential candidate will not participate in mixed debates,” Oseloka said.

Meanwhile, Keystone Bank Limited has denied allegations by one of Obi’s support groups, “TakeBackNaija Initiative”, which alleged that the Federal Government had ordered the closure of its accounts with the Bank for supporting him.

In a statement issued by Keystone Bank, it denied the allegations saying that at no time did the Federal Government or anyone order it to close the said account. The Bank said it closed the account because “it was irregularly opened contrary to extant regulatory guidelines.”

“In line with applicable regulatory guidelines on the treatment of such accounts with irregularities, funds received into this account have been returned to their sources of origin.

“While we recognise the right of every citizen of our country to freely associate in pursuit of common objectives, we also believe as an institution that is subject to supervisory regulations, it is imperative we act within the confines of prescribed guidelines in all our dealings.

“Keystone Bank is open to doing business with every Nigerian irrespective of background or beliefs. But we also owe the public a duty to conduct our business in a safe manner,” the bank said.

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Source: news