The former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu and his supporters have been angry with President Muhammadu Buhari and the presidency for releasing pictures showing the presidential hopeful with a walking stick when President Muhammadu Buhari visited him in London, United Kingdom (UK).
Newsflash Nigeria had reported that Buhari who is in London, on Thursday, visited the former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu who is also in London.
Tinubu, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress(APC), has been out of the country for over a month.
The presidential aide, Bashir Ahmad, posted some photos on his Facebook page on Thursday and captioned it, “President Muhammadu Buhari this evening in London, the United Kingdom, visited Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”
In the photos, Tinubu was seen leaning on a walking stick as he posed for a shot with the President.
Tinubu’s health has been a subject of controversy of late but in a press statement on July 31, 2021, his Media Adviser, Tunde Rahman, said though the former Lagos State Governor was out of Nigeria, he was not hospitalised as claimed by some reports (but not Newsflash Nigeria).
Also, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, subsequently visited the APC stalwart in London and took photos with him to dispel the overwhelming reports that Tinubu was sick and hospitalised.
Meanwhile, Tinubu and his close aides are not happy with the pictures released by the Presidency showing the former Lagos State Governor with a walking stick when President Muhammadu Buhari visited him in London, United Kingdom (UK), SaharaReporters reports.
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“Tinubu and his people are not happy that President Buhari brought NTA (Nigerian Television Authority- government-owned station) and others to visit him.
“When Lagos governor, (Babajide) Sanwo-Olu and (Abiodun) Faleke (federal lawmaker) visited him, nothing revealed he had surgery or was sick. But the way Buhari had his photo ops handled by the Villa was not what he (Tinubu) bargained for.
“They felt betrayed that such pictures showing him with a walking stick would be released. Note that all the pictures were released by the Presidency.”
SaharaReporters had on Monday reported that Tinubu underwent second knee surgery at the John Hopkins University Hospital in Maryland, US.
The APC chieftain, it had been learnt, left the US for the United Kingdom on crutches, a few days after the surgery.
“Tinubu had his second surgery at John Hopkins University in Maryland recently. He was accompanied by a popular Nigerian doctor in Chicago,” a source had said.
“He had wanted the surgery in Paris but when the rumour was rife about his death, he hurriedly left for Nigeria and went to John Hopkins. He left the US for the UK on crutches.”
The online platform had on July 31 reported that Tinubu, who has had several medical trips this year alone, had a surgery about two weeks earlier and could be billed for another one.
The APC National Leader has been off official and party functions in the country for a while, amidst talks that he is being positioned for the 2023 presidency to succeed the incumbent repressive regime of Buhari.
“Tinubu is hospitalised in Maryland, US. His health is failing. He couldn’t participate in launching his Arewa library, and he couldn’t participate in the Local Government Area elections last week. He could not attend today’s APC congress due to health reasons.
“He had a surgery last week,” an authoritative source had disclosed.
A few days after the story, photographs of Tinubu hosting Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state in London surfaced where the duo was seen together in a room.
Reports have it that the meeting was held to put an end to speculations surrounding the APC National Leader’s health status.
In January 2021, Tinubu was also reported sick and hospitalised in Paris, France.
Tinubu had earlier complained of exhaustion and travelled out to rest before the news of his collapse went viral.
He was flown to Paris for medical attention in the first week of January.
SaharaReporters had on June 15 reported that Tinubu was also in Paris, battling with some old age ailment.
“Tinubu is in Paris, France for a medical checkup. His health is deteriorating. Old age and other stuff, but he still wants to be president. This could mean another medical tourism presidency for our country,” a top source had at that time revealed.
SaharaReporters had reported the conspicuous absence of Tinubu during the one-day working visit of President Buhari to inaugurate various projects in Lagos State.
Earlier, the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, had tried to downplay the obvious rift between the two leaders and their camps, saying the interview the President granted to Arise Interview where he mentioned Lagos was not about Tinubu.
“You cannot sit there in Lagos, for instance, and decide on the fate of APC on zoning,” Buhari had said while responding to a question during the interview.
“The hope of this administration is to see APC last beyond it. Therefore we should allow the party to decide. The restructuring of the party has begun from the bottom to the top with the membership card registration. Every member of the party must be involved. We will soon conduct our convention. No single member of the party will be allowed to go against the wish of the party.”
Shehu had maintained that there was no rift between the two leaders and that the reference to Lagos had nothing to do with Tinubu.