The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has done justice to his absenteeism at the live presidential debate held at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja on Sunday.
CityMirrorNews gathered that three presidential candidates attended the debate organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in collaboration with Arise Television, a debate programmes put together in order for Nigerians to what all the presidential aspirants have in store for them.
The candidates that attended the debate were Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), and Kola Abiola of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).
Amidst Tinubu absenteeism at the meeting, the presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar,who also was absent because he is out of the country was represented by his running mate, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa.
It was however gathered in a chat with The Punch on Sunday night, the Director of Media and Communications, Mr. Bayo Onanuga said Tinubu could not attend the event due to his busy schedule that clashed with other more important outings.
Onanuga reiterated that the debate jammed with a town hall meeting with agro-farmers in Minna, Niger State capital slated for Monday and that they could not leave the important meeting for the debate.
“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”, Mr. Onanuga stated.
When told that Tinubu could still have attended the debate since the engagement with the farmers in Minna is slated for Monday, Onanuga vehemently disagreed.
“Are we going to use a 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 attended the debate if the meeting with the farmers has not been fixed, Onanuga 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.”
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