- Tokunbo Afikuyomi claims that Governor Simon Lalong lied as Tinubu is hale and hearty
- The former senator accuses Lalong of inventing such laughable reason for Tinubu’s absence at the rally
- Afikuyomi says that Tinubu going for medical check-up abroad does not mean he is ill
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is hale and hearty, according to his close aide former senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi.
Afikuyomi’s remark comes on the heels of Governor Simon Lalong’s claims that Tinubu was absent at last Saturday’s Ondo state APC governorship rally due to ill-health.
But according to Afikuyomi, Plateau state governor Lalong lied, Premium Times reports.
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In a statement, the one-time Lagos state commissioner described the claim credited to the Plateau state governor as incorrect.
Afikuyomi said: “I travelled to the United States of America with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to witness the recent U.S. elections. We traversed a number of cities together where we engaged with a number of Nigerians who are genuinely concerned about the state of affairs in our dear country. Jagaban was in a remarkable state of mental and physical wellness. When we ended our trip, I saw him off to the airport in Chicago from where he headed for Europe again. I still met with him in Europe thereafter.
“It is therefore absolutely incorrect and most embarrassing for anyone to attempt to invent such a laughable reason for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s absence at the rally. The fact that somebody went for medical check-up does not mean he is ill. In the likely event that Asiwaju, like all mortals, was ill at all, I doubt if Lalong would be the first to know by reason of relationship, proximity and trust.
“Prominent politicians like Ogun state governor Ibikunle Amosun have been speaking with Jagaban Tinubu.
“Governor Amosun particularly communicated with him a day before the Ondo rally and he can never claim not to have spoken with him. I have also remained in constant touch with Asiwaju Tinubu since my arrival in Nigeria. We speak daily as a matter of fact.
“I have been inundated with calls by friends, associates and other well-meaning Nigerians trying to ascertain the veracity of this ludicrous claim. I hereby ask all friends and lovers of Asiwaju Tinubu to dismiss the claim and know that he is hale and hearty.”
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Recall that Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande and three governors from the South-west – Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo) and Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos) were all absent at the APC grand rally in Akure, Ondo state capital.
And according to Governor Lalong, the chairman of the Ondo state governorship campaign, Tinubu’s absence was due to ill health.
Lalong was quoted to have told state House correspondents after visiting President Muhammadu Buhari that, “if a leader was not there and he said he was not there because of ill-health, we have prayed that God will heal him.”