Several major political figures in the All Progressives Congress (APC) told SaharaReporters that there were serious apprehensions about former Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu of Lagos State who has not been seen in public for several weeks.Some of the politicians wondered whether the former governor had taken ill, noting that there were political challenges in the party’s south-west zone that they expected Mr. Tinubu to be on ground addressing.
In the wake of their concerns, a source close to Mr. Tinubu told SaharaReporters that the former governor left Nigeria two weeks ago and flew to the United Kingdom for personal reasons. The source added that Mr. Tinubu was supposed to have returned a week later, but his whereabouts remain unknown to party apparatchiks.
The APC leader’s aides did not initially return our correspondent’s phone calls and ignored text messages inquiring about his whereabouts and requesting to interview him. However, in a short text to SaharaReporters just before we went to press, Mr. Tinubu dismissed concerns about his health, stating that he was abroad on vacation and to attend to some long neglected personal affairs.
Several APC politicians who spoke to our correspondent said their concerns grew when Mr. Tinubu, a former senator who serves as the national leader of the APC, became noticeably absent during yesterday’s visit to Osun State by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr. Tinubu had issued a statement yesterday assuring the people of Ondo State that the APC was prepared to win the forthcoming governorship election in the state, but there were unanswered questions about the politician’s location.
In Ondo State, where APC primaries are expected to hold tomorrow to choose the party’s governorship candidate, Segun Abraham, a contestant who is known to be Mr. Tinubu’s anointed favorite, was described as deeply worried by his main backer’s prolonged absence. A political source in the state said Mr. Abraham’s campaign appear troubled by Mr. Tinubu’s absence. The candidate’s aides impatiently rebuffed efforts to interview him.
Mr. Tinubu’s text message said he was “very well,” adding, “I may be returning today.” According to him, he was spending part of his summer holiday and “taking care of previous neglected personal affairs.”
Before going to press the APC National Leader’s aides said he has arrived Lagos from the UK.