Nigeria president-elect Bola Tinubu flies to UK to 'rest after tiring campaigns'

Nigerian president-elect Bola Tinubu. [Courtesy of Vanguard]

Nigerian president-elect Bola Tinubu on Tuesday, March 21 travelled to the United Kingdom to “rest” after a period of grueling campaigns, the BBC reports.

The outlet quotes Tinubu’s spokesperson, Tunde Rahman, confirming the leader’s trips to London and Paris, France.

“The president-elect decided to take a break after the hectic campaign and election season to rest in Paris and London, preparatory to going to Saudi Arabia for Umrah (Lesser Hajj) and the Ramadan fasting that begins [on] Thursday (March 23)," Rahman said.

Rahman was noncommittal on when the president-elect would return to Nigeria, only saying that Nigerians should expect him back “soon”.

The president-elect, as per Nigeria’s tradition since 1999, will be sworn into office on May 29, 2023, taking over from his longtime friend, Muhammadu Buhari.

Tinubu, who won the February 25, 2022 disputed presidential election, has courted speculation over his health.

A section of Nigerians claim the would-be 16th President of Africa’s largest economy is not physically fit to run a country facing economic challenges amid inflation, high cost of living and change of its Naira currency notes.

In the past, Tinubu often flew out of the country to France and the United Kingdom to reportedly seek treatment, the BBC said.

The 70-year-old, who ran on the ruling All Progressives Congress Party ticket, got 8.8 million votes in the presidential election to emerge the winner.

Atiku Abubakar came second with 6.9 million votes and Peter Obi emerged third with 6.1 million votes.

Both Abubakar and Obi disputed the election outcome, and lodged petitions in court, seeking to have Tinubu’s win overturned.

Concerns by the president-elect’s opponents were raised over his ability to rule Nigeria, citing his age and frail physique.

During rallies, Tinubu appeared physically weak, and with a slurred speech.

He, however, reiterated, on several occasions, that he felt perfectly fit to serve Nigerians as their 16th president.