Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has come under scrutiny following his return to Nigeria on Wednesday morning, after reportedly spending several days at a lavish birthday party in the Caribbean Island of Grenada.
The event in question was the 50th birthday celebration of Abuja-based businesswoman and socialite, Aisha Achimugu.
According to reports by PREMIUM TIMES, Governor Sanwo-Olu flew to Grenada in a private aircraft and stayed at one of the world’s most expensive resorts on Calivigny Island, with an estimated cost of $132,000 per night.
The governor’s whereabouts were unknown to many officials in his government for several days, with conflicting reports about his engagement in London or travel abroad.
This luxury trip coincided with the Mandilas building fire in Lagos on January 21 and ongoing economic hardships faced by Lagosians.
Governor Sanwo-Olu reportedly joined the birthday festivities, which included renting Calivigny Island for seven days at about $924,000, on January 18, after they commenced on January 17.
The event, described as one of the most opulent parties by attendees, also saw guests staying at Silversand Grenada, a seven-star luxury resort.
Governor Sanwo-Olu’s participation in this extravagant celebration, which included performances by A-list musicians and entertainers, raises questions about the use of state resources and the governor’s priorities amidst Lagos’s challenges.
The report states that Governor Sanwo-Olu left Nigeria on January 17 and returned on January 23, leaving the state without his leadership for days.
The purpose and funding of his trip remain unclear, and attempts to contact the governor and Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, for comments were unsuccessful.
Aisha Achimugu’s birthday celebration, which reportedly included lavish attire, expensive jewelry, and parties on a yacht, contrasts starkly with the economic realities faced by many in Lagos.
The governor’s attendance at such an event during a time of crisis in his state has sparked significant controversy and public outcry.
One attendee told PREMIUM TIMES that at the birthday, “exotic wines, expensive but delicious food, crisp dollars and obscene opulence were on display”.
The source estimated the event to have cost the organisers billions of naira to organise.
“We basically shut down Grenada and the citizens of that country knew that Nigerians were in town, they knew the eagles had landed,” the source said, asking not to be named to avoid being ostracised by friends.
“But what even surprised me the most was seeing Governor Sanwo-Olu at the event. Is he not sensitive to the mood of the Nigerian nation? What was he doing there as a public figure?”
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