Confusion in Tinubu’s Camp
Nigeria’s “President-Elect” Bola Tinubu whose victory is being contested in court suffered a mild heart attack after reading Peter Obi’s petition to the election tribunal
Nigeria’s All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate Bola Tinubu reportedly suffered a mild heart attack after he was briefed about the opposition’s petition to the courts to annul his victory late Tuesday. The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi said that Tinubu was not qualified to contest for the presidency due to his links to the drug trade in Chicago, USA.
Sources close to his camp say he was taken in an unmarked ambulance to the private hangar of the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, accompanied by his personal physician and aides where they boarded the APC leader’s Dassault Falcon X private jet.
His sudden illness has thrown the Tinubu camp into panic and muted joy in the Shettima camp as the APC vice-presidential candidate Kassim Shettima might become the “president-elect” if Tinubu becomes permanently incapacitated. Sources says Tinubu camp is unhappy with the prospect hence the need to hide the true nature of his illness.
“Tinubu has left for Europe for medical care. He fell ill after voting on Saturday during the Lagos guber election. He was attended to by local doctors but he has left for Europe for proper medical care,” another source close to him revealed.
“He initially said his doctors should be brought down to Nigeria for him, and that when things die down, he would leave. But I’ve confirmed that he left last night (Tuesday night) because he is definitely ill,” another source confirmed.
On Wednesday, his spokesman Tunde Rahman issued a statement to the press saying his principal needed rest and recuperation after a hectic campaign and election season debunking rumours that Tinubu suffered a mild heart attack.
“After a very exhaustive campaign and election season, President-elect, Asíwájú Bola Tinubu, has travelled abroad to rest and plan his transition programme ahead of May 29, 2023 inauguration,” Rahman stated.
“The President-elect decided to take a break after the hectic campaign and election season to rest in Paris and London, preparatory to going to Saudi Arabia for Umrah (Lesser Hajj) and the Ramadan Fasting that begins Thursday.
“While away, the President-Elect will also use the opportunity to plan his transition programme.”
Rahman said Tinubu is expected back in Nigeria soon.
Over the last two years, Tinubu spent over four months at hospitals in France, the United States and the United Kingdom where he underwent several surgeries between 2020 and 2022.
He was flown out of the country some days before Christmas in 2020 to Paris, France.
The APC leader returned to Nigeria on January 24, 2021, after a month’s absence from Nigeria.
He also went for a medical check-up on Thursday, June 10, 2021, to France and was conspicuously absent from a one-day working visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Lagos State.
Tinubu, amidst death rumours, was forced to return to the country on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 and was hospitalised in Maryland, United States in July 2021.
On August 9, the APC leader had another knee surgery at the John Hopkins University Hospital in Maryland, the United States. The APC chieftain left the US for the United Kingdom on crutches, a few days after the surgery for recuperation.
Sources close to Tinubu said that he wanted the surgery in Paris, France but changed his plans after rumours of his death circulated.
In August 2022, President Buhari paid a visit to Tinubu in London and the latter was seen with a walking stick during Buhari’s visit,
His London home became a meeting point for the APC stalwarts as they strategised for the 2023 elections. He was visited by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Governors Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti).
Upon his return in October, Tinubu confirmed that he underwent surgery on his right knee as well as post-surgery physiotherapy on the said knee during his medical trip abroad.
Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, while reacting to the viral “Baba wey no well” song performed by the Pyrate Confraternity in August 2022, cited examples of people that lived long with Parkinson’s disease.
The visible trembling of hands and slurred speeches have generated speculations that it could be early stages of Parkinson’s disease.
Tinubu, 70, has repeatedly dismissed speculations about his health.
Akowe with reports from Lagos