2023: Tinubu’s gaffes, refusal to honour independent debates, town hall meetings




It has been a tough time for the All Progressives Congress, APC Presidential Campaign Committee due to the one to many gaffes, refusal to attend independent debates, town hall meetings by its candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

From ‘Recruit 50,000 to fight insurgency, Omo Agege incoming governor of Niger Delta, Worse to Bad, PD-APC and Balabloo-blu-bulav.

Tinubu has not attended independent debates, interviews or town all engagements except his engagement with the Arewa Consultative Forum.

On Friday, the former Lagos State governor turned down an invitation to the Arise TV Town Hall series. It would be recalled that he town down the previous series.

In what look like a personal attack on the Tinubu, the AriseTV intensified anti-Tinubu editorials one of it was a fake news(Stating that the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, did probing a court case involving Tinibu in the USA—which the station publicly acknowledged and apologised. It didn’t end at that, Arise Tv was fined by National Broadcasting Commission.

It would also be recalled that Governor Nasir Elrufai had during the Arewa engagement disclosed that many people close to Tinubu had encouraged him to attend because the forum had resolved to endorse a particular candidate.

“I want to thank Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for resisting all entreaties that he should not honour this invitation. He was told that this whole arrangement is meant to endorse a particular candidate, but he insisted that even if the arrangement is to endorse a particular candidate, i will come and i will change their minds,” Mr Elrufai had said.

Yesterday, a statement by Bayo Onanuga, Director, Media & Publicity, APC Presidential Campaign Council, said Tinubu will not attend AriseTV third series Townhall meeting contrary to the claim by the media.

The reason for avoiding any such debates may not be unconnected with his propensity to make gaffes, “slips of tongue” and perhaps perceive political inclination of organizers.

In the course of the campaign, his gaffes are growing. Virtually at all rallies, he makes comments that handlers often have to clarify.

Although, in some instances, comments like the ‘poisoned holy communion’ and ‘recharging the lake chad’ have since been clarified, however, there are many more gaffes that have been recorded.

Tinubu Top Five Gaffes 


At the flag-off of the campaign in Jos, Plateau State, Tinubu in his closing remarks shouted, God bless the PD—APC.

Clearly, the candidate wanted to say “God bless APC” instead shouted God bless PD but caught himself midway and added “APC”.

Some of his supporters on social media tried to justify the gaffe by stating that “PD” refers to the G5 governors, whose rebellion is causing crisis in the main opposition party.

Despite the attempt, it remains a clear case of slip of tongue.

Turning a rotten situation to Bad 

At the Kaduna State Investment and Economic summit, Mr Tinubu was paying glowing tributes to Elrufai, even persuading the latter to jettison his retirement plan and continue to serve.

Therefore, it was a rude shock when he stated that Elrufai has a way of turning a rotten situation to a bad one.

“We are not going to let you run away. Your vision, creativity and resilience in turning a rotten situation to a bad one are necessary at this critical time and that is why we are here.”

Hours after the comment, Bayo Onanuga had issued a statement, noting that it was a slip of tongue.

“It was a mere slip, that is not unusual in life, even among leaders of nations,” he stated.

However, Tinubu some days after, Tinubu disagreed with his spokesperson by insisting that “Some people need to understand idioms.”


While Hullabaloo is a word known in the dictionary, Balabloo-blu-bulav was the choice of Mr Tinubu during a campaign rally in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

He told the crowd that his town hall meetings are different from “balabloo-blu-bulava”.

As always, his campaign team described the phrase as a “sense of humor”. Festus Keyamo, the main spokesperson of the campaign, said in a tweet:

“Listen to the sense of humour of @officialABAT. He says he prefers a proper town hall meeting to the gibberish his opponents say elsewhere.”

Omo Agege is the incoming governor of Niger Delta State

In Gbaramatu, in his speech, while referring to the governorship candidate of the APC in Delta State, Ovie Omo-Agege, “Governor—Incoming— of Niger Delta State.”

Obviously, Niger Delta mostly refers to states around the delta wetland or oil-producing region in southern. Therefore, it is safe to say that Mr Tinubu wanted to say “Delta State” instead referred to Niger Delta State.

50 million recruitment 

In 2021, during his 69 birthday colloquium, Mr Tinubu had in his speech suggested how to address insurgency through massive recruitment into the army. He stated that government must recruit 50 million youths into the army.

“Recruit 50 million youths into the army, take away from their (the insurgents)recruitment source,” he said.

His spokesperson, Tunde Rahman had in a statement clarified that Tinubu meant 500,000.

These gaffes continue to fuel rumours that the APC candidate may be suffering from some mental incapacity.