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2023: Tinubu will not attend debates – Campaign Council

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ALL Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Ahmed Tinubu will not attend any of the 2023 election debates.

Minister of State for Labour Festus Keyamo, one of the spokespersons for the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, disclosed this in Abuja.

Keyamo, who was reacting to Tinubu’s absence during the town hall debate organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), in collaboration with Arise Television, on Sunday, said the former Lagos State governor would not be available for any debates due to his hectic campaign schedule.

He noted that many radio and television networks in Nigeria have indicated an interest in hosting such debates “and out of deference to them, the former Lagos governor will not be making selective appearances on some networks while ignoring others”.

“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,” he added.

Keyamo also said before now Tinubu already understood the importance of speaking directly to Nigerians and as a result had embarked on town hall meetings beginning with his interaction with the business community and other stakeholders in Kano and Lagos.

He noted that Nigerians would hear from Tinubu loud and clear through other forums.

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Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were absent at the debate on Sunday, attended by Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and Kola Abiola of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP)

Delta State governor and PDP vice-presidential candidate Ifeanyi Okowa stood in for Atiku but Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, were not represented.

Sunday’s event was not the first intellectual engagement Tinubu would miss. Without any explanation, Tinubu had not honoured invitations to speak and also partake in roundtable discussions at the Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association, as well as conferences organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.

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