Tinubu Returns to Nigeria Ahead of Inauguration
Bola Tinubu, the President-elect, arrived back in Nigeria from Europe on Saturday, in preparation for his inauguration on May 29. Tinubu had traveled to Europe on a working visit starting on May 10. A statement from his media office indicated that he would use the opportunity to refine transition plans, programs, and policy options with key aides, free from unnecessary pressures and distractions.
While in Europe, Tinubu held a meeting in Paris with Rabiu Kwankwaso, the leader of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP). The meeting was facilitated by Abdulmumin Jibrin, an elected member of the House of Representatives from Kano State, and a close associate of Kwankwaso. Jibrin, who had previously served as the Director General/Coordinator of Tinubu Support Groups, had joined NNPP and successfully won a seat in the House of Representatives in the February 25 elections. Sources familiar with the matter revealed that Jibrin’s connections with both Tinubu and Kwankwaso played a crucial role in arranging the meeting, which was considered successful. Following the meeting, Kwankwaso agreed to collaborate with Tinubu and participate in his proposed Government of National Unity (GNU).
Before departing the country, Tinubu had met with the House of Representatives candidates for Speaker and Deputy Speaker endorsed by his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). Hon. Tajudeen Abbas and Hon. Benjamin Kalu, presented to Tinubu by the Joint Task Team of the House, were officially endorsed by the APC’s National Working Committee (NWC) for the positions of Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively.
However, the party’s zoning arrangement has caused discord among party members, with some lawmakers criticizing it as unconstitutional and undemocratic. Senator Abdulahi Adamu, the National Chairman of the party, admitted that the party leadership had not conducted widespread consultations before announcing the zoning arrangement. Adamu appealed to the aggrieved members to exercise restraint and allow the party’s leadership to revisit the issue.
With Tinubu’s return to Nigeria, further consultations on the zoning template are expected to take place.