Why Tinubu was absent at debate – APC campaign council


The All Progressives Congress Campaign Council on Sunday night justified the absence of its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, saying the debate clashed with his engagements.

The campaign council’s clarification is coming in the wake of Tinubu’s absence at a live presidential debate held at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja.

Tinubu’s counterpart in the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, who was said to be on his way from Morocco, was, however, represented by his running mate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.

The PUNCH reported that a pro-democracy think tank, the Centre for Democracy and Development, had invited the four leading presidential candidates in the 2023 elections to speak on their plans for the country.

The debate, which was aired live on Arise Television, was meant to allow Nigerians to ascertain which candidate and political party possessed the best ideas for bringing lasting solutions to the country’s challenges.

When contacted, the Director of Media and Communications, Bayo Onanuga, told our correspondent in an exclusive phone chat that the debate clashed with Tinubu’s campaign town hall meeting with agro-farmers in Minna, Niger State capital.

Onanuga made reference to the APC presidential campaign calendar to justify his position.

He said, “We are in Minna now for engagement with farmers and agro-commodities groups ahead of tomorrow. The media cannot suddenly come up with a debate and wants us to drop everything we are doing to attend it. It is wrong. We also have our campaign schedule to attend to.”

When reminded that the presidential candidate could still have shown up since the engagement in question is slated for Monday, Onanuga disagreed.

“Are we going to use jet to travel to Minna? As I earlier told you, we are in Minna already and cannot make it to the programme. In our own case, their proposal clashes with the campaign programme of our candidate. That’s why we didn’t turn up,” he stated.

Asked if Tinubu would have turned up at the debate if the Minna engagement has not been fixed, the campaign media director stated that there was a likelihood he might.

He said, “Maybe. But he is busy with some other things and he cannot leave that one for this. There are more important things.

“After Minna, we are returning to Abuja before the next engagement in Nasarawa State on Wednesday. After then, I think Calabar is up for Saturday. You can see that this week is a very busy one for the candidate.

“Again, next week, we will be in Imo State on Tuesday for a rally and zonal stakeholders meeting. It is not on Monday as some people erroneously reported. The earlier schedule people saw was just a draft, which is still subject to amendment.”

The presidential campaign calendar, which was revised again on Friday, shows that aside from the town hall meeting with agro-farmers on Monday, Tinubu will have a dinner with his campaign patrons in Abuja on Tuesday while another town hall meeting on interfaith stakeholders will hold in Nasarawa on Wednesday.

Source: https://punchng.com/why-tinubu-was-absent-at-debate-apc-campaign-council/



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