For politicians who are still interested in power, they never joke with visibility. They want to be seen and want their names to be on the lips of the targeted electorate. This is why Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar are always in the faces of everybody, even when the issues are related to simple issues like football and everyday human relationships. Both of them are rumoured to be interested in the presidential seat of President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Suddenly, Tinubu, the man popularly regarded as the kingmaker of Lagos State is off the radar of the media. No recent pictures of the billionaire politician have been seen since late last year. His usual lengthy press statements are unavailable, no public appearances and no banters with friends and political enemies. This is very rare of the Jagaban of Borgu.
Rumours soon emerged that he is incapacitated and receiving treatment at an undisclosed location outside Nigeria. Many explicitly said he is suffering from coronavirus; a disease which is particularly ruthless on the elderly. Remember Tinubu is 68, at least on paper. Many believe he is older than that. From his stature, others have also insinuated that he might be battling with other underlying ailments which COVID-19 is bound to latch on if it ever gets to him. His media managers have denied all these rumours claiming he is only ‘resting’ abroad. Buhari rests abroad a lot, yes, in London hospitals to be specific.
Tinubu’s spokesperson, Tunde Rahman, said his principal has done COVID-19 test 15 times and all results came negative.
Amid the denial, a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, who is in the know made some daring clarifications via his Twitter account.
“I have been informed that BAT is ill & is in a Paris hospital. It is not a crime to be ill & neither should it be a state secret. All mortals fall ill from time to time. I join others in praying for him& I wish him well. May God grant him a speedy recovery & a safe journey home.” FFK as he is fondly called posted via the microblogging platform.
It is the 11th of January, 2020, and a man being touted as the next messiah of Nigeria is yet to be accounted for. The expected denials have been mere words with hard evidence rarely used. With the coronavirus pandemic ravaging an average number of 1,000 Nigerians daily, amidst embarrassing under-testing, it is not strange for the sickness and deaths of the elderly to be announced. The news has even lost shock value.
So the salient questions are: Where is Tinubu? Is he battling with COVID-19 or other terminal diseases? Will his health impede on his political ambition? Is Tinubu still alive?
If you have answers to these questions, you can provide them in the comment section below.