Political Debate Sparked by Tinubu’s Mysterious Absence Fuels Controversy

In a twist of fate, both President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima narrowly avoided simultaneous international trips, preventing a potential void at the helm of Aso Rock.

Concerns had mounted regarding Tinubu’s whereabouts following his return from an official engagement in Saudi Arabia for the special World Economic Forum. DAILY POST noted his continued absence even a week after the Riyadh summit concluded on April 29, 2024.

Before the WEF summit, Tinubu had ventured to the Netherlands upon invitation by Prime Minister Mark Rutte on April 23, 2024. During his stay, he participated in substantive talks with the Dutch Prime Minister and held separate audiences with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima.

As Nigerians grappled with Tinubu’s prolonged absence, Vice President Shettima was slated to attend the 2024 US-Africa Business Summit in Dallas, representing the President. This event, hosted by the Corporate Council on Africa, promised significant dialogues and networking opportunities for political and business figures from Africa, the US, and beyond. However, a last-minute cancellation ensued due to aircraft complications.

This situation prompted vocal criticism from activist and lawyer Deji Adeyanju, who accused both Tinubu and Shettima of disregarding the concerns of Nigerians. Adeyanju underscored the absence of accountability in the government, equating it to the behavior seen in a “Banana Republic.” He lamented the lack of clarity regarding Tinubu’s whereabouts, stressing the need for transparency, especially given the democratic mandate.

Adeyanju further chastised the National Assembly for failing in its oversight duties, describing it as subordinate to the President’s office. He argued that the current state of affairs left Nigeria without effective governance and underscored the imperative of checks and balances.

Echoing similar sentiments, rights activist lawyer Madubuachi Idam highlighted the constitutional irregularity that would arise if both the President and Vice President were simultaneously absent. He emphasized the constitutional provision for the Vice President to assume presidential responsibilities in the President’s absence, condemning their joint departure as irresponsible.

Idam suggested that such conduct could warrant impeachment, citing it as a gross misconduct and an affront to constitutional order. He criticized the lack of accountability and urged the National Assembly to uphold its mandate in ensuring governmental integrity.

In contrast, former spokesman of the 2023 defunct Atiku-Okowa Presidential Campaign Organization, Daniel Bwala, argued that Tinubu could govern effectively from any location in the world, citing constitutional provisions. He dismissed concerns about physical presence at the Presidential Villa, emphasizing the President’s capacity to discharge duties irrespective of geographic location, as stipulated in Section 5 of the Constitution.

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