An Ambassador of African Union (AU) Agenda 2063, Ousmane Yara, on Sunday revealed how the Nigeria President-elect, Bola Tinubu was made a citizen of Guinea.
Yara in an interview with Daily Sun in a highbrow Abuja hotel on Sunday also spoke on the relationship between Tinubu and a former president of Guinea, Alpha Conde.
The Guinean, while speaking on a viral video showing Tinubu and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a helicopter belonging to the Guinean government, said the video was recorded in 2016.
He claimed that Tinubu at the time had visited Guinea as a guest of former President, Conde during the country’s independence anniversary celebration.
According to Yara, Tinubu, him (Yara) and Sanwo-Olu, who was not a governor at the time, were travelling in the helicopter from the Guinean capital to Mamu, in the Fula region of the country, to attend an independence anniversary celebration.
He noted that Conde used to move the state function related to the anniversary from region to region every year, when he was in power.
Yara revealed that the President-elect visited Guinea for the first time in 2015 after he hosted former President Conde in Lagos earlier.
He further stated that Tinubu’s presence at Guinea’s independence anniversary celebration in 2016 was his second as a guest of former President Conde.
Yara said: “Through one of Tinubu’s aides at that time, who is now a minister in the government of Nigeria, I facilitated a meeting between President Conde and Tinubu. President Conde was going for reelection, for the second term, in office, then in 2015. He came to Nigeria to see Tinubu, who organised a dinner in his honour. At the dinner, Tinubu invited many Nigerian businessmen and others.
“President Conde then invited Tinubu to Guinea about one month to the election for his second term. Tinubu honoured the invitation and came with a team of economic experts and businessmen, who took time to discuss with Guinean government officials how the country could better harness its resources for economic prosperity and development.
“Tinubu spent only one day and travelled to London from there, but left the team he came with to continue engagement with Guinean officials on how to transform Guinea. The team and Guinean government officials worked for three days, and came up with an economic roadmap.”
Yara said the ex-president was pleased with Tinubu’s support for his reelection and for bringing the team that worked with Guinea officials to chart an economic and development agenda.
The development saw ex-President Conde invite Tinubu to the independence anniversary in 2016.
Yara added, “President Conde invited Tinubu to the independence anniversary. Since the official function at every independence anniversary was done in different regions, Tinubu was required to fly from the country’s capital, in a helicopter, to Mamu, where that year’s event was held. That was the video being circulated. At the independence anniversary celebration, President Conde gave Tinubu the honour and privilege of a president, in appreciation of what he did for him during his reelection bid and towards economic development of Guinea.”
Yara said President Conde, in his appreciation to Tinubu, gave him a “Special Envoy” status.
He said, “Conde recognised Tinubu as a pan-Africanist and saw him as a special envoy.”
The AU Ambassador said that governments extend honorary citizenship to important people who may not be their citizens as a mark of recognition of their contributions to socio-economic and political developments in the countries, which does not make such persons citizens of the countries.
Yara said Tinubu, being a friend of Conde, is not strange as individuals and politicians all over the world have presidents as friends.