Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu has made a surprise stopover in Paris, France, at the end of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last weekend in New York, United States.
The stopover was not on his pre-departure itinerary.
However, credible sources familiar with his schedule told LEADERSHIP that President Tinubu travelled to Paris, France from New York, for undisclosed reasons.
As at the time of this report, the Presidency was not forthcoming about the reason for Tinubu’s stopover in Paris.
LEADERSHIP gathered that President Tinubu may not return to Nigeria until Thursday this week.
Also, even though an earlier statement by the Presidency had indicated that Tinubu would meet with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of UNGA, the meeting did not hold, and no official reasons were given by either side.
LEADERSHIP had earlier reported a week ago that no fewer than five governors and seven ministers were on the entourage of President Tinubu to New York, for the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), which will be his first as the Nigerian leader.
According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, the President was also joined by other aides in what was meant to be a trimmed down delegation in contrast to previous practice by former Presidents.
Ngalale listed Governors Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State; Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State; Hope Uzodinma of Imo State; Uba Sani of Kaduna State; AbdulRahman AbdulRazak of Kwara State, and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State as members of the entourage.
Also travelling with the President were the Chief of Staff to the President, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Yusuf Maitama Tuggar; Coordinating Minister of the Economy & Finance, Mr. Wale Edun, Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Mohammed Pate; Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru; Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Mr. Dele Alake, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu; and Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite.
The National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa and other senior government officials were all listed on the delegation to New York.
LEADERSHIP checks showed that most of the top government officials who accompanied the President to New York had separately returned to the country.