A major presidential aspirant and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has left the country for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, the lesser hajj, and to pray for peaceful conduct of the 2023 general elections and continue development of Nigeria.
Tinubu was said to have left the country for the Arabian nation where he would aside from performing the religious rite, would be engaging some of the political chieftains on the need to pray for the country, in other to overcome all its challenges and to have a free and fair election, particularly the presidential poll.
The APC national leader was said to have arrived in Saudi Arabia in the early hours of Tuesday for the exercise and was expected to join other Nigerians that have converged in Makkah to seek God’s intervention for the country.
Sources close to the presidential aspirant disclosed to The Guild that Tinubu would use his visit to the holy house to pray for his victory during the APC presidential primaries as well as the general election.
The source added that Tinubu had often expressed concern over insecurity, particularly banditry and insurgency and that this would form a major part of his prayers, to ensure that peace and harmony return across the country.
In a picture obtained by The Guild, the Lagos state former governor was seen to have met with former presidential candidate and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss, Nuhu Ribadu, and others.
Tinubu, another APC member close to him, disclosed that he left the country hours before President Muhammadu Buhari announced that he would be hosting several members of the party leadership in an Iftar dinner at the State House, Abuja.
The APC national leader and other founding members of the party were listed as guests for the dinner expected to give the President an ample opportunity to caution presidential aspirants and enlighten them on the need to work effectively for a peaceful conduct of the primary ahead of the 2023 election.
Other leaders invited by the president for the dinner include former National Chairmen of the APC, Dr. John Oyegun, and Adams Oshiomhole, former Adamawa state Governor, Murtala Nyako.
Also expected to attend the dinner were Ogun state ex-governor, Olusegun Osoba, first interim chairman of the APC, Bisi Akande, Borno State former Governor, Ali Modu-Sheriff, his Zamfara counterpart, Ahmed Yarima, Sokoto Aliyu Wamako, Edo, Oserheimen Osunbor; Yobe Bukar Ibrahim, General Muhammed Magoro (retd), Lawal Shuaibu, Aba Aji, Tijjani Tumsah, Fati Bala, Abubakar Guru, and Nasiru Danu.
In the letter dated April 22, 2022, and addressed to the APC National Chairman, was signed by the President’s Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
According to the letter, “I write to inform you that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has directed that invitation be extended to the attached list of the leadership of the All Progressives Congress to join the President to break Ramadan fast on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, at 1830 hours in the Presidential Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja.
“In this regard, you are kindly requested to invite them to attend. The leaders are to arrive at the Pilot Gate at 1630 hours for Rapid Covid-19 testing at the State House Conference Centre and be seated at the venue by 1800 hours.”