Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the 2023 Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was conspicuously absent at the Arise TV presidential town hall meeting that was held on Sunday night, Nov.6, 2022, ahead of the 2023 general election, was spotted at a birthday party holding close-by.
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The town hall meeting which was hosted by the Arise News Channel in conjunction with the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD) in Abuja, was for presidential candidates only, but it was attended by three out of the 5major presidential candidates, Labour Party’s Peter Obi, NNPP’s Rabiu Kwankwaso and PRP’s Kola Abiola. while PDP’s Atiku Abubakar was represented by his running mate Ifeanyi Okowa, and Tinubu was absent.
Shortly after the town hall meeting began, a video of Bola Tinubu at the birthday party of his associate, retired colonel Sani Bello, some 6.4 km (an eight-minute drive) from the venue of the town hall meeting, was shared online. Spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress presidential campaign, Festus Keyamo, later released a statement, saying Tinubu can’t attend all events because he has a busy schedule.
The statement read;
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Firstly, many radio and TV networks in Nigeria have indicated interests to host such debates and out of deference to other TV and radio stations, our candidate will not be making selective appearances in some networks, whilst ignoring others.
As President of Nigeria, by the Special Grace of God, he intends to treat all persons and businesses fairly and equally. Secondly, the busy and hectic campaign schedules of Asiwaju Tinubu will not permit him to honour all such invitations by different radio and TV networks, hence our decision for him not to start with one TV station and later ignore others.
Thirdly, our candidate had long before now realized the importance of speaking directly to Nigerians and shortly after unfolding his Action Plan as President embarked on Town Hall meetings beginning with his interaction with the Business Community and other stakeholders in Kano followed by the Town Hall meeting and presentation by experts last week in Lagos. Tomorrow, he will be interacting with Agro and Commodity Groups in Minna, Niger State.