Tinubu Back In Nigeria After Two-Week “Private Visit” To France


After spending two weeks on a “private visit” to France, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Tuesday night returned to Nigeria.

He arrived the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at about 8:50pm and was received by a delegation led by the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike.

Other members of his cabinet on hand to receive him, included Femi Gbajabiamila, chief of staff (CoS); George Akume, secretary general of the federation (SGF); Nuhu Ribadu, national security adviser (NSA), Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, and Kaduna State governor, Uba Sani, among other top government officials.

Ajuri Ngelale, the presidential spokesperson, had announced Tinubu’s “private visit” to France on January 24 without citing a reason.

Ngelale added that the president would return to the country in the first week of February.

The president’s absence has been met with criticism from opposition groups and other concerned parties.

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar had accused Tinubu of fiddling with Nigeria in the face of worsening insecurity, pointing out that the country needed 24/7 leadership.

He further asked Tinubu to “step aside from office if the shoes are too big”.

The Presidency, in response, berated the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in last year’s elections, saying he was still nursing the hangover of his electoral loss

The presidency added that Atiku latched on to any opportunity to attack Tinubu, asking him to stop playing cheap politics.

Femi Falana, senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), also faulted Tinubu for his trip to France, stating that the president’s visit to France was embarrassing to Nigeria, especially as the French country did not recognise his presence.

Shortly after being declared winner of the presidential election last year, Tinubu departed for Paris.

Tunde Rahman, his media aide then, said the trip was to enable Tinubu “rest and prepare for lesser hajj in Saudi Arabia and Ramadan fasting”.

However, a report said the president was undergoing a medical check-up at the American Hospital of Paris Neuilly-sur-Seine.

Months later, following his attendance of the global financial pact summit in France, the Presidency announced that Tinubu headed to London on a “short private visit”.

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