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Nigeria: Tinubu Returns to Nigeria Ahead of Inauguration

Abuja — President-elect, Bola Tinubu, on Saturday returned to Nigeria from Europe ahead of the May 29 inauguration.

Tinubu had on May 10 traveled to Europe on a working visit.

A statement by his media office said Tinubu was scheduled to return to the country shortly for preparations towards his inauguration as the 16th President on May 29.

The statement issued recently by the Office of the President-elect and signed by Tunde Rahman, said the president-elect would use the opportunity of the trip to finetune the transition plans and programmes, and his policy options with some of his key aides without unnecessary pressures and distractions.

During his stay in Europe, the president-elect met with the leader of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso in Paris.

THISDAY checks revealed that the meeting was largely brokered by a House of Representatives member-elect from Kano State, Abdulmumin Jibrin and a close associate of Kwankwaso.

Jibrin was former Director General/Coordinator of Tinubu Support Groups. He had resigned from that position to join the then fledgling NNPP under which he contested and won a return to the House of Representatives in the February 25 elections.

A source, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the issue, said Jibrin’s relationship with both Tinubu and Kwankwaso provided him the vantage position to broker the meeting.

“Yes, he was in the middle of it, don’t forget Kwankwaso is his political mentor and, of course, he was Tinubu’s first campaign DG,” the source said of Jibrin. “So, he was able to broker rapprochement between them after some calls back and forth, a deal was reached that culminated in the meeting in France,” the source added.

After the meeting, which some allies of the two political leaders believed to be privy to the discussions described as successful, Kwankwaso was said to have agreed to work with Tinubu and be part of his proposed Government of National Unity (GNU).

Recall that before he left the country, Tinubu met with the House of Representatives candidates for Speaker and Deputy Speaker endorsed by his party, the All Progressives Congress, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas and Hon. Benjamin Kalu, who were presented to him by the Joint Task Team of the House.

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the party had officially confirmed the endorsement of a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, (from Akwa Ibom State in South-south) for Senate President, and Tajudeen Abbas (from Kaduna State in North-west) for Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The zoning arrangement has however created acrimony within the party with aggrieved lawmakers describing the zoning as unconstitutional and undemocratic.

The National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdulahi Adamu had admitted that the leadership of the party did not consult widely before releasing the zoning arrangement.

Adamu however appealed to the aggrieved members to hold their fire and allow the leadership of the party to revisit the issue.

With Tinubu’s return to the country on saturday, it is expected that further consultations on the zoning template would hold.

Tinubu Returns to Nigeria Ahead of Inauguration

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

President-elect, Bola Tinubu, on Saturday returned to Nigeria from Europe ahead of the May 29 inauguration.

Tinubu had on May 10 traveled to Europe on a working visit.

A statement by his media office said Tinubu was scheduled to return to the country shortly for preparations towards his inauguration as the 16th President on May 29.

The statement issued recently by the Office of the President-elect and signed by Tunde Rahman, said the president-elect would use the opportunity of the trip to finetune the transition plans and programmes, and his policy options with some of his key aides without unnecessary pressures and distractions.

During his stay in Europe, the president-elect met with the leader of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso in Paris.

THISDAY checks revealed that the meeting was largely brokered by a House of Representatives member-elect from Kano State, Abdulmumin Jibrin and a close associate of Kwankwaso.

Jibrin was former Director General/Coordinator of Tinubu Support Groups. He had resigned from that position to join the then fledgling NNPP under which he contested and won a return to the House of Representatives in the February 25 elections.

A source, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the issue, said Jibrin’s relationship with both Tinubu and Kwankwaso provided him the vantage position to broker the meeting.

“Yes, he was in the middle of it, don’t forget Kwankwaso is his political mentor and, of course, he was Tinubu’s first campaign DG,” the source said of Jibrin. “So, he was able to broker rapprochement between them after some calls back and forth, a deal was reached that culminated in the meeting in France,” the source added.

After the meeting, which some allies of the two political leaders believed to be privy to the discussions described as successful, Kwankwaso was said to have agreed to work with Tinubu and be part of his proposed Government of National Unity (GNU).