It has now been confirmed that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has arrived at the United Kingdom for his planned lecture on onday.
He will be speaking on security, economy and foreign policy at the Chatham House.
The APC presidential candidate was accompanied on the trip by some state governors and party leaders.
As ‘The Nation’ reports, the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the APC had earlier announced that Tinubu will be spending 13 days on foreign trip to the United States and other European countries.
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The PCC, in a statement on its Twitter account on Monday, stated that the former Lagos State governor will on December 5 speak at the Chatham House, the United Kingdom’s elite Foreign and Policy Think-tank institution, where he will dwell on security, economy and foreign policy.
Chatham House had on its official website said that Tinubu will discuss “his vision and recently unveiled manifesto for ‘renewing hope’ in Nigeria including his policy proposals for economic reform and revival and how to deliver secure and inclusive job opportunities for Nigerian citizens.”
It said “the event is part of a series of events and outputs examining Nigeria’s 2023 elections and political developments.”
Meanwhile, the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday accused Arise News of persistent blackmail to railroad the party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to its town hall meeting scheduled for today, but vowed that the candidate would not succumb to the antics.
The council in a statement by its Director, Media and Publicity, Bayo Onanuga described the continuous broadcast of Tinubu’s participation at the talk shop as “shocking and downright anomalous”, even after informing the organisers of the debate that Tinubu would not be available for the programme.
Onanuga spoke just as Senate Chief Whip, Dr .Orji Kalu dismissed insinuations in some quarters that the APC presidential candidate was denied US visa.
He accused the opposition of peddling the rumour.
According to Onanuga , the APC flag bearer had on November 7 advanced seven reasons why he won’t be attending the television station-organised presidential debates in a statement by the spokesman for the campaign council, Festus Keyamo.
His words: “We find it shocking and downright anomalous that Arise News continues to broadcast the participation of All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in its Presidential Town Hall meeting scheduled to hold on 4 December 2022 despite our earlier statement that our candidate will not be available.
“We noticed that Arise News has also been running a campaign on the so-called constitutional duty of the presidential candidates to participate in its debate by dubiously citing Section 22 of the Constitution of Nigeria on the obligation of the Mass Media.
“While it is trite that the media has a clear constitutional duty to hold public office holders accountable to the citizens and its role as the watchdog of the society, there is no part of the Constitution and the Section 22 that says a presidential candidate of any political party and least of all, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, must participate in Arise News Town Hall event or any media organised an event at all.
“The same Constitution grants all citizens of Nigeria including, Asiwaju Tinubu the right and freedom of choice and association. The APC Presidential candidate has a right to decide where he goes and what events to participate in as he seeks the mandate of Nigerians to be elected as the next President of our country.
“We want to make it abundantly clear again that Asiwaju Tinubu will not participate and will not attend the Arise News Town Hall meeting slated for Sunday, 4 December, 2022 and any other ones it may plan before the February 2023 presidential election. We want to equally stress that Arise News has consistently shown a pattern of bias against Asiwaju Tinubu and we don’t consider the medium as credible and impartial.”
The council then disclosed that the APC presidential candidate has his schedule of campaign activities and other engagements within and outside Nigeria.
“One such is his scheduled event for Monday, December 5, 2022 at Chatham House in London where he will speak on Security, Economy and Foreign Policy.
“Asiwaju Tinubu travelled to the United Kingdom early today (Saturday) for this earlier scheduled engagement. We want to reiterate for the umpteenth time that no amount of blackmail, intimidation and media bullying and innuendos by the owner and management of Arise News will change the position our campaign has taken on this matter.”
The council asked all its spokesmen and supporters to steer clear of “this station over its consistent unprofessionalism and bias against our candidate and party.”
Tinubu not denied US visa – Orji Kalu
Dr. Orji Kalu said on his Facebook wall yesterday that speculations that Tinubu was denied US visa were untrue.
He said: “As the election draws closer, the opposition will spread more fake news against our presidential candidate but we should always ignore and keep our eyes on the ball.
“The news that Tinubu was denied visa to the USA is as fake as other fake news.
“Tinubu postponed the travel himself and was never denied visa.
“The State Department of the US confirmed to me that Tinubu will be received in the third week of December.
“As the presidential candidate of our party with outstanding personality, he will be warmly welcomed in the United States.”