Town Hall Meeting

HEADLINES–Protests As Atiku, Tinubu Fail To Show Up At First Presidential Town Hall

The Presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar and Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) failed to attend the first in the series of town hall meetings for presidential candidates on Sunday, November 6, 2022.

The audience protested that the event was meant for presidential candidates and not for their running mates.

The town hall meeting was organized by Arise Television and the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) for the candidate to discuss their plans for security and economy with Nigerians.

The event was attended by the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) Rabiu Kwakwanso, and Kola Abiola, flagbearer of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).

The organizers extended invitations to four presidential candidates including Atiku and Tinubu to participate in the meeting. Still, the former Vice President and former Governor of Lagos State failed to show up.

But while Atiku was represented by his running mate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Tinubu, the APC candidate shunned the event without sending any representative.

Why Atiku was absent: According to Okowa, Atiku was outside the country and had secured permission from the organizers to be away.

“He (Atiku) is outside the country. We duly obtained the permission of the organizers for him to be represented. When it is time for debates, we will get into it. But this time, it is a town hall. Atiku has asked me to represent him.” he said.

The audience’s protests: However, the absence of Tinubu and Atiku caused a stir at the town hall. The event was delayed for more than 30 minutes due to the audience’s protests against what they termed appearance by proxy.

The audience protested that the event was meant for presidential candidates and not for their running mates.

The town hall venue became rowdy when the PDP presidential campaign spokesperson, Dino Melaye, and the Atiku team countered the audience’s protest by chanting “ticket is one.”

Why Tinubu was absent: While the event was ongoing, Pulse reported Tinubu’s camp’s justification for their principal’s absence at the town hall.

According to Bayo Onanuga, the Director of Media and Communications of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council (APCPCC), the debate clashed with one of the activities on Tinubu’s 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.

Source: Pulse. ng

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