Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been flown abroad on a secret trip overnight that could complicate the ongoing transition phase in the country, according to two of his associates.
The associates declined to mention which country Mr Tinubu was flown to, but they insisted it was not on medical emergency and he would soon return to the country. They spoke under anonymity with The Gazette because Mr Tinubu’s team was still deliberating a press statement on the matter.
Sahara Reporters was the first to report the news of Mr Tinubu’s trip on Wednesday afternoon, with the online outlet citing its sources that said the new Nigerian leader was flown to Europe for medical treatment.
Sahara Reporters also said Mr Tinubu, who was declared winner of Nigeria’s presidential election last month, took ill after months of uninterrupted political activities that peaked towards the end of the year-long campaign.
Bayo Onanuga, a spokesman for Mr Tinubu, said in a message to The Gazette that his principal travelled abroad to rest and will soon return to the country.
“He travelled to rest after the hectic electioneering,” Mr Onanuga said. “Will soon return home.”
Mr Tinubu, 70, could find himself explaining yet again his medical status that has drawn keen interest from a sceptical public.
In recent years, Mr Tinubu has made several emergency trips abroad, including in late January 2022 when he was rushed to London while the primary campaign was underway.
Shortly after returning from the London trip, Mr Tinubu appeared to urinate on himself while visiting a prominent traditional ruler in the country’s southwest.
In September 2022, Mr Tinubu was again in London, where he reportedly spent several weeks receiving treatments from several doctors. He also strapped a urine bag on himself during the trip.
Despite several indications that Mr Tinubu might not be in good health, including his repeated, the politician has maintained that he is physically and mentally fit to govern.
He admitted at a point that he might lack physical strength but said his mental capacity would be sufficient to pilot the nation’s affairs.
Mr Tinubu is inheriting Nigeria’s over 200 million people from Muhammadu Buhari, the incumbent who makes regular trips to London to treat undisclosed ailments. At several points in his eight-year tenure,
Mr Buhari spent several months on a single trip to London. He has never publicly acknowledged the nature of his illness and how much of state resources he used.