APC campaign council justifies Tinubu's absence at debate
The council explained that the debate clashed with one of the activities on its campaign timetable.
Tinubu missing at debate: The council's clarification comes amidst Tinubu's absence at a live presidential debate held at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja on Sunday, November 6, 2022.
Pulse reports that the event was organised by a pro-democracy think tank, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), to allow the four frontline presidential candidates in the 2023 election address Nigerians on their programs for the country.
Why this is important: The debate, which was aired live on Arise Television, would afford Nigerians the opportunity to scrutinise the ideas and proposition of candidates and political parties ahead of next year's election.
While the APC candidate neither showed up nor sent a representative, his counterpart in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Abubakar Atiku, who was said to be on his way from Morocco, was represented by his running mate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.
APC justifies Tinubu's absence: When contacted, the APCPCC Director of Media and Communications, Bayo Onanuga, exclusively told The Punch that the debate clashed with one of the activities on its campaign schedule.
He said the presidential candidate is currently in Niger State where he's expected to hold a town hall meeting with agro-farmers in Minna on Monday, November 7, 2022.
Onanuga made reference to the APC presidential campaign calendar released last Friday to justify his position.
Onanuga's word: “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 the paper reminded him that Tinubu could still have shown up since the engagement in question is slated for Monday, the campaign media director disagreed, adding that the candidate may have turned up if the Minna engagement has not been fixed.
Onanuga's word: “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.
“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.”
JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: