Nigerian President-elect Bola Tinubu returned to the West African country before his inauguration in May, after more than a month away in France.
The former governor of Lagos state landed in the capital, Abuja, on Tuesday, according to a statement by his spokesman, Tunde Rahman. Tinubu is scheduled to take over from his ruling party ally, President Muhammadu Buhari, on May 29, after winning a presidential election in February.
Tinubu, 71, left for Paris on March 21 and spent all his time away from Nigeria in the city, according to Rahman. A previous statement by the spokesman announcing the trip had said that the president-elect would also visit London and Saudi Arabia to take part in a pilgrimage during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
President-Elect Leaves Nigeria to Rest in Europe After Campaign
Tinubu’s absence sparked speculation about the next head of state’s health that was also frequently raised during the election campaign. The outgoing Buhari has also been a frequent visitor to London during his presidency for medical reasons.
“I have rested, I’m refreshed and I’m ready for the task ahead,” Tinubu told a crowd of supporters at the airport, according to Rahman’s statement. “Forget about what the rumor mill may have told you. I’m strong, very strong.”
The runners-up in the Feb. 25 poll – Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi – are both contesting Tinubu’s election victory in court, claiming that they were the rightful winners of the presidential contest. The ongoing lawsuits won’t prevent Tinubu’s inauguration from going ahead.