Former Lagos State governor and National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has said he was healthy but only undergoing physiotherapy in London.
He made the disclosure at the weekend while addressing the northern caucus of the House of Representatives who paid him a get well visit.
Tinubu, who was dressed in Kaftan and a red cap, has been in the United Kingdom for about three months after undergoing knee surgery. He however described the physiotherapy as gruesome. “Because of God and people like you, I am well. It is just the physio (physiotherapy) that is gruesome,” he added.
Tinubu’s health had become a subject of controversy of late but in a statement on July 31, 2021, his Media Adviser, Tunde Rahman, said though the former governor was out of Nigeria, he was not hospitalised as claimed by some persons.
“He (Tinubu) is out of the country at the moment. He will be back shortly,” he said, adding that his boss was “hale and hearty”.
Since he arrived in London, Tinubu’s London home has somewhat become a Mecca. He had been visited by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.); Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Governors Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti).
Others who visited Tinubu include a former governor of Ogun State and incumbent Senator representing Ogun Central, Ibikunle Amosun; former Governor of Borno State and Senator representing Borno Central, Kashim Shettima; and member representing Gubio, Kaga and Magumeri Federal Constituency of Borno State, Usman Zanna.
Also on the list are Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat; Chief of Staff to Lagos State Governor, Tayo Ayinde; Deputy Chief of Staff to Lagos State Governor, Gboyega Soyannwo; Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Education, Tokunbo Wahab; former APC National Legal Adviser, Muiz Banire.
The Senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Tokunbo Abiru; Senator Adeola Solomon Yayi from Lagos West; Senator Opeyemi Bamidele from Ekiti Central; Senator Adelere Oriolowo from Osun West; and Senator Mohammed Sanni from Niger East also visited the ex-Lagos governor in London.
Others are Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa; Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation, Temitope Adewale; Chairman of the House Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development, Nureni Akinsanya; as well as Chairman of the House Committee on Overseas Investments and Sustainable Development Goals, Sylvester Ogunkelu.
The Chairman of Isolo Local Council Development Area, Adebayo Olasoju; another politician, Adekunle Akanbi; and popular Fuji musician, Wasiu Ayinde, popularly called KWAM 1, also visited Tinubu in London.
Akeredolu and Fayemi had said their visit was not about 2023 but to pay him a courtesy visit. Meanwhile, Akeredolu added, “He’s the capo (di tutti) for us here. By the time he comes, we can make some important decisions.”
Similarly, when asked in an interview if Tinubu discussed his plans for 2023 with him, Gbajabiamila said his discussion with the APC leader “was privileged”.
His long stay abroad has however drawn criticism from some Nigerians who argued that his prolonged medical trip was not a good signal if indeed he planned to become the president.
Reno Omokri, a former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, had said should Tinubu become President in 2023, he would continue Buhari’s tradition of seeking treatment abroad at the expense of taxpayers.
In recent years, the UK has become a choice destination for the Nigerian elite including Buhari, who frequent London for medical tourism while perpetual industrial actions, lack of modern equipment, inadequate personnel, failure of government to pay doctors’ salaries, amongst others, mar Nigeria’s health sector.