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Home News Tinubu's Disappearance: Shettima stranded! Nigeria is on Autopilot.

Tinubu’s Disappearance: Shettima stranded! Nigeria is on Autopilot.

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Tinubu’s Disappearance: Shettima stranded! Nigeria is on Autopilot.

 

By Bolaji O  Akinyemi.

It was meant to be a brief out of the country trip for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, but nine days have gone bye after the trip the President was officially scheduled for at a Forum in Saudi Arabia. Our president is missing in our national space and his whereabouts remain unknown. The question all Nigerians should be asking is where is President Tinubu?

Today 9th of May made it exactly nine days after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu attended the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) Special Meeting on Global Collaboration, Growth and Energy for Development in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and he is yet to return to Nigeria.

 

The two-day forum, which aimed to help public and private sector leaders address shared global challenges, opened on Sunday, 28th and ended on Monday, 29th April, 2024.

The Presidency has not released any statement on what was holding the president from returning to Nigeria.

This has led to speculations in some quarters that the president may have proceeded to Paris, France, where he had travelled to several times for medicals. Nigerians are worried against the memory of Saudi Arabia and our once upon a time absentee President.

However, two credible sources have independently said that the president proceeded to London from the Saudi capital of Riyadh, according to news monitored on Daily Trust.

One of the two sources, a highly placed official at the Presidency, told Daily Trust reporters that the president “is at the moment in London on a private visit.”

The official, who pleaded anonymity, declined further comments on the reason for the president’s visit in London.

“I really don’t know, he (the president) has left Saudi Arabia and he should be in London now, but I don’t have details”.

“I don’t have an idea about it (the purpose of the president’s trip to London) but I think it is a private visit,” the official said.

Another top official at the Presidential Villa, reported by the Daily Trust said; “there was no cause for alarm about the president’s whereabouts.

The official who refused to disclose his boss’ whereabouts assured that the president would return to the country “this weekend.” The weekend has passed and the President has not been sighted in Nigeria nor his whereabout made known by the Presidency.

The president had on April 23, left Abuja for the Kingdom of the Netherlands on an official visit.

His Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale had in a statement said the visit was on the invitation of Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Ngelale had said that while in the Netherlands, Tinubu would engage in high-level discussions with the Prime Minister and hold separate meetings with His Royal Majesty, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Kingdom.

“While in the Netherlands, the president will participate in the Nigerian-Dutch Business and Investment Forum that will bring together heads of conglomerates and organisations in both countries to explore opportunities for collaboration and partnerships, especially in agriculture and water management towards innovative solutions for sustainable farming practices,” he had stated.

Ngelale had added that Tinubu would as part of the official visits; also proceed to attend a special WEF meeting scheduled for April 28-29 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The special meeting in Riyadh was to among other objectives, bridge the growing North-South divide, which has further widened on issues such as emerging economic policies, the energy transition and geopolitical shocks.

Events unfolding at the Presidency suggest that all may not be well as Managers of Mr President will want Nigerians to believe.

It is not known whether the President transmitted power to the Vice President before his trip abroad or not but the absence of Mr President is generating confusion over the schedules of the Vice President who may be lost to the whereabouts of his Principal like any of us.

Nigeria’s Vice President, Kashim Shettima is regrettably unable to leave Nigeria to attend an earlier scheduled event. The Vice President could not attend the US-Africa Summit 2024 due to technical issues with his aircraft. Shettima was slated to depart Abuja for Dallas in the United States on Sunday night to represent President Bola Tinubu at the 2024 US-Africa Business Summit hosted by the Corporate Council on Africa, is another online news been circulated on the social media, particularly Whatsapp.

While the excuse of technical issues with his aircraft may be tenable, the question is, where is our President? If the President is not back, can the Vice President leave the country?

We are not about to see the end of the fuel scarcity and the attendant consequences of the crisis it is generating.

Scarcity of fuel is compounded by the scarcity of Mr President who seems to be on Absence from Work without Leave(AWOL); leaving our Vice President stranded and the nation on autopilot. For how long this will last, only time will tell!

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