Several top dignitaries and allies of former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu were unable to physically attend the 12th colloquium held in Kano on Monday in honour of one of the national leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who turned 69 today. Their absence has been reportedly blamed on bad weather.
Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, Speaker House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila are among top officials of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration who could not make it to the event.
Also, Tinubu’s man Friday and Lagos state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Osun state Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, and their Ogun state counterpart, Dapo Abiodun, joined the Colloquium from the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport, Abuja.
The governors had travelled to Abuja hoping to connect their flight to Kano but bad weather ensured they only joined the event virtually from one hall inside the airport.
Reports said the decision to abort their proposed trip stemmed from unfavorable weather condition which has made it impossible for the top government officials to fly from Abuja to Kano.
Osinbajo in a statement released by his spokesman, Mr Laolu Akande earlier announced in a tweet that he would join the event virtually alongside President Muhammadu Buhari, who declared the colloquium open.
Other dignitaries absent at the event are Tinubu’s supposed allies and Minister of the Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, and Minister for Information, Lai Mohammed.
The event, which was initially slated for 12 noon could only kick-off 12.30pm due to the absence of several VIPs, a moderator informed attendees on the Zoom platform where many online participants were kept waiting due to the delay.
However, some House of Representatives members led by Majority Leader, Hon. Ado Doguwa among politicians who had earlier flown to Kano, attended the event in-person.
Meanwhile, President Buhari who also attended the colloquium virtually said Nigerians are better together as he rallied citizens towards unity in his speech.
“Despite occasional inter-ethnic tensions in our national history, it seems to me that we have all agreed on one point that, notwithstanding our diversity of ethnicity, culture, language and religion, Nigerians are better together; even stronger together,’’ Buhari said.