Home » Tinubu’s Private Trip to France Sparks Outrage from Opposition Parties

Tinubu’s Private Trip to France Sparks Outrage from Opposition Parties

PDP, LP ask questions on Tinubu’s France private visit

by Victor Adetimilehin

LAGOS, Nigeria – President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria has left the country for a private visit to France, amid rising insecurity and economic woes in Africa’s most populous nation.

The Presidency announced Tinubu’s departure on Wednesday, without giving any details on the purpose or duration of his trip. The statement, signed by his media adviser Ajuri Ngelale, said he would return in the first week of February 2024.

This is Tinubu’s third visit to France since he assumed office eight months ago, following his controversial victory in the 2023 presidential election. He also attended the Paris Summit for the New Global Financial Pact in June 2023, and made another stopover in September 2023, after attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Opposition Demands Explanation

Tinubu’s latest travel has drawn criticism from the opposition parties, who accused him of neglecting his duties and hiding his health condition from the public.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) demanded an explanation from the Presidency, saying Tinubu’s absence was unacceptable at a time when the country was facing multiple challenges.

“The feelers we are having are that he has gone for medical treatment as usual because that is where his doctors are. So, we challenge the Presidency to come clean and explain to us the details of his ailment,” said Ibrahim Abdullahi, the PDP deputy national publicity secretary, in a phone interview with The Punch.

He added that the state of the nation was “appalling” in terms of security, economy, and politics and that Nigerians needed their president to be around and discharge his functions.

The LP spokesman, Yunusa Tanko, also alleged that there was a hidden agenda for Tinubu’s trip and that he was suffering from a health challenge.

“We are back to another Muhammadu Buhari, who prefers to travel than to lead. The fact is that President Tinubu has a health challenge and they are trying to cover up the health issues,” he said, referring to Tinubu’s predecessor, who spent several months abroad for medical reasons during his tenure.

Tinubu’s Health and Performance under Scrutiny

Tinubu, 72, has been dogged by rumors of ill health since he became president, with some reports suggesting he had a stroke or a heart problem. He has denied these claims and insisted he was fit to govern.

However, his frequent travels and rare public appearances have raised doubts about his capacity and fitness. The last time he was seen in public was in December 2023, when he visited Imo State to inaugurate some projects.

Tinubu has also faced criticism for his performance and policies, which have been blamed for worsening the security and economic situation in the country. Nigeria is grappling with a surge in violence by armed groups, kidnappers, and bandits, as well as rising inflation, unemployment, and poverty.

Tinubu’s supporters have defended his record and his travels, saying he was working hard to address the nation’s problems and that he had the right to take personal trips.

They have also accused the opposition of playing politics and trying to undermine his administration.

Source: Punch

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