President Bola Tinubu has returned to Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, following a two-week private visit to Paris, France.
His arrival at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport was marked by the presence of top government officials, including Chief of Staff Femi Gbajabiamila, Secretary to the Government of the Federation George Akume, National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu, and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Nyesom Wike, among others. Kaduna State Governor Uba Sani, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Heineken Lokpobiri, and the Director-General of the Department of State Service, Yusuf Bichi, were also present.
While the presidency has not provided a specific reason for the visit, it was previously announced that President Tinubu would return “in the first week of February 2024.” This trip marks Tinubu’s third visit to France and his 14th foreign visit since assuming office eight months ago.
President Tinubu’s international travels have included visits to Paris, France (three times); London, the United Kingdom; Bissau, Guinea-Bissau (twice); Nairobi, Kenya; Porto Norvo, Benin Republic; New Delhi, India; Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates; New York, the United States of America; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and Berlin, Germany.
His return comes amidst protests in several states across Nigeria due to rising food and living costs. In recent days, angry youths and women have taken to the streets in Minna, Kano, Ondo, and other places to protest the increasing cost of living. The protesters have called on the Tinubu administration to address the challenges of hunger and rising prices.
In response to the protests, President Tinubu directed a special committee on emergency food intervention to develop immediate plans to alleviate suffering and prevent further security challenges. His return also coincides with an increase in cases of kidnapping for ransom, a weakening local currency, and delays in implementing the promised student loan scheme, which was initially set to meet a January deadline as announced last October.
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