President Muhammadu Buhari today left Abuja for Germany to attend the G-7 meeting, accompanied by a 20-person delegation including former Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Abdulrahman Dambazau (ret.), his personal photographer, Bayo Omoboriowo, and his cook named ‘Anne’.
SaharaReporters learned that former Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State led a small advance team to Germany to prepare for Mr. Buhari’s arrival.
The presence of both former Governors Fashola and Fayemi on the delegation raised fresh speculations about President Buhari’s possible role for both men in his administration. A source close to the president told SaharaReporters that Mr. Buhari was considering appointing Mr. Fashola as his Chief of Staff, adding that the former governor of Ekiti state was also in the running for the same position. Our source disclosed that Bola Tinubu, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was opposed to Mr. Fashola’s appointment. Mr. Tinubu preceded Mr. Fashola as governor of Lagos State, but both men sometimes had a tense political relationship.
The exclusion of Agboola Gambari, a professor, from the list of delegates, appears to signal that he is not a serious contender for the post of Chief of Staff. A few days ago, Mr. Gambari’s name cropped up as one of the candidates for the post of Chief of Staff.
Mr. Buhari’s trip to Germany is his first trip outside of Africa since his inauguration on May 29, 2015. His 20-person delegation which reportedly include members of his advance party is a scale back from former President Goodluck Jonathan’s practice of making foreign trips with as many as 200 people.