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Tinubu ambushed us; we didn’t know Gbaja, Sanwo-Olu, other surrogates will answer questions for him: Chatham House

The ruling party presidential candidate appeared before a diverse audience at the British think-tank on Monday.

• December 6, 2022
A photo of Tinubu speaking at Chatham House
Tinubu speaking at Chatham House

The Chatham House on Tuesday said Bola Tinubu ambushed its chairman when he appeared for an interactive session on Monday morning.

The frontline British think-tank said the ruling All Progressives Congress presidential candidate undermined its normal arrangement and did not seek prior permission to act in the manner he did.

Mr Tinubu, during his appearance, delegated political surrogates that included Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to answer questions on his behalf.

Mr Tinubu assigned the question on oil theft to one of his campaign spokespersons, Dele Alake; the question on security he assigned to Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna; and the question on youth development and inclusion to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River. 

Also, a former commissioner of finance in Lagos, Wale Edun, was asked to answer the question on job creation; Mr Gbajabiamila answered a question on national defence while incumbent Lagos State governor Mr Sanwo-Olu took the question on youth inclusion in politics and governance.

“Yesterday’s event was not the norm and our Chair was not notified in advance that Mr Tinubu would be delegating questions,” a spokesperson for Chatham House said in an email to Peoples Gazette. “The principle of Chatham House events is to be able to hear the views of invited speakers, and also to hold those speakers to account.”

Nigerians have expressed serious condemnation of Mr Tinubu’s conduct during the question and answer session of the event. The former Lagos governor failed to express his plans for the country in several areas of governance, including health, education, economy and national defence.

Mr Tinubu, who has continued to ignore Nigerian media, has committed repeated blunders on the campaign trail that critics said showed manifestation of severe medical conditions.

Since the start of the campaign in February, Mr Tinubu has been seen urinating on himself, carrying a catheter device to take his bodily waste and speaking gibberish during public appearances.

The presidential candidate has dismissed public concerns about his health, saying it was misplaced since he only needs his mental capacity to govern and not his physical capacity, which should be reserved for manual labour workers.

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