Tinubu travels with over 50 officials, violates own directive on trip entourage

President Bola Tinubu on Monday travelled with over 50 delegates to attend the second inauguration of Hope Uzodinma as Imo state governor, violating his own directive on entourage of trips within and outside the country.

The trip came barely a week after he slashed officials accompanying government officials travelling.

In a “massive cost-cutting measures” announced by his Spokesman, Ajuri Ngalale, last week Tuesday, the president directed that, his delegation within the country, should not exceed 25 people at most while 20 people will accompany him to international engagements.

He also directed that security agencies at wherever he is visiting should take charge of his protection rather than travelling with security personnel from Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Barely a week after he issued the directive which most Nigerians, including opposition leaders, praised him for, Mr Tinubu has flouted it.

He reportedly travelled to the south-eastern state to witnessed the inauguration of Mr Uzodinma, a governor of his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) and commission some projects.

Premium Times which listed the officials said the president, in his first official trip after the directive, travelled to Owerri with 25 officials on his aircraft while 30 others of his aides travelled ahead of him to the city.

His son, Seyi Tinubu; his senior special assistant/private secretary, Aderemi Damilotun; his principal secretary, Hakeem Muri-Okunola; his senior special assistant on domestic matters; Subair Oluwatoyin and his senior special assistant on social events, Atika Ajaka were onboard the aircraft.

Two other Personal Assistants to Mr Tinubu, Kamorudeen Yusuf and Wale Fadare; the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale; the State Chief of Protocol, Victor Adeleke; the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the President, Fasasi Adegboyega; the Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the President, Nurudeen Yusuf (a lieutenant colonel); the Chief Principal Staff Officer to the President (CPSO), Usman Shugaba (a deputy commissioner of police); the Personal Physician to the President, Dr Tinubu Sikiru Adekunle; the Chief Detail to the President; Bashir Mohammed and the Presidential Liaison Officer, Musa Yakubu, were on the trip.

Also on the flight include: Two presidential photographers, Asemota Nosa Joseph and Okanlawon Taiwo; the President’s official videographer, Sunday Moses; NTA reporter, Musbau Danwahab; NTA cameraman, Lukman Sani; Eniola Sakumbi, the personal assistant to the President’s ADC and a certain Emma, who functions as personal assistant to the President’s CSO.

The advance team who travelled on a commercial aircraft before the president’s arrival included the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Print Media, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, as well as five other officials from the media unit of the presidency, six officials from the protocol department, 15 security details and five journalists covering the State House in Abuja, despite their media organisations having representatives who were on ground to cover the ceremony.

“Also on the advance party were soldiers from the Brigade of Guards, drivers and other auxiliary staff with little or no role to play in Owerri,” the news portal reported.

Mr Ngalale did not answer or return calls seeking comments for this story and was yet to respond to a message delivered to him as at press time.