Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos returned to Nigeria on Wednesday morning after spending days partying on the Caribbean island of Grenada in commemoration of the 50th birthday anniversary of Abuja-based businesswoman and socialite, Aisha Achimugu.
Sanwo-Olu flew on a private plane to the Caribbean island and settled into one of the most expensive resorts in the world.
Many officials in his government did not know his whereabouts for days, some saying he was attending an official engagement in London and others simply telling us he was traveling abroad.
But PREMIUM TIMES can report that while the Mandilas building burnt down in Lagos on January 21 and many Lagosians remained burdened by poverty and insecurity, their governor was enjoying a party at Calivigny Island, a private and exquisite place of 80 acres which costs around $132,000 per person. evening.
Aisha Achimugwu at the birthday party attended by Governor Sanwo-Olu in Grenada
Those familiar with the event said organizers rented the island for seven days, for a total of about $924,000, plus other fees.
Sanwo-Olu and other participants alternated between Calivigny Island and Silversand Grenada, an exotic five-year-old seven-star luxury resort located on Grand Anse Beach, where some of the posh celebration events were held.
Those familiar with the governor’s itinerary said he left Nigeria on Wednesday, January 17, to attend Mrs. Achimugu’s birthday carnival, which began with “a delicious welcome breakfast” and “a spectacular dinner with an explosive finale” that day. Other guests arrived in Granada on January 16.
But Sanwo-Olu could not join the party until January 18, the third day of the festival. He remained there until January 23, leaving the state without his leadership for days.
At the time of writing, it was unclear why the governor left his job in Lagos and flew 7,585 kilometers to Grenada for a birthday party, at a time when the people who elected him to office were grappling with difficulties serious and unprecedented economic conditions. Another question not yet resolved is how the governor financed his trip and stay on that Caribbean island.
Mr Sanwo-Olu did not respond to calls made to him by one of our journalists seeking his comments for this report. He also did not respond to a message sent to him about it. The known phone number of the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, rang the multiple times he was called.
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Born on January 22, 1974, Aisha Achimugu, Founder and CEO of Abuja-based Felak Concept Group, turned 50 on January 22. The relationship between the socialite and Sanwo-Olu remained unclear, but the governor was at the party to honor her.
Some who attended said it was one of the most opulent parties they had ever witnessed or heard of. The celebrant rented Calivigny Island for a week and booked rooms for her guests at Silversand Grenada. Several guests were also said to have been flown from Nigeria to the party venue on chartered planes.
During the week-long party, Mrs Achimugu, a widow who lost her husband to coronavirus in 2020, is said to have changed her clothes at least 30 times and each dress is said to have cost thousands of dollars. That’s in addition to the high-end clothing she wore for a photo shoot with a famous photographer before her event.
Most of the time, she wore very expensive diamond jewelry, wore designer shoes, and carried crocodile-skin Hermes handbags, each of which was said to cost between $50,000 and $80,000. One of her many parties took place aboard the Silver Angel, a yacht that sails the Caribbean Sea under the flag of the United Kingdom.
Additionally, several local and international musicians and entertainers flew in to perform at the various events. Among those who performed were Kenny G (American saxophonist and composer), Waje, Flavour, Adekunle Gold, Asake and Mr Killa (Musician from Grenada).
Hypemens, disc jockeys, makeup artists, hairstylists and emcees also flew to the island and were paid thousands of dollars for their services, people close to the organizers said.
David Reeves, who was the event’s official disc jockey, was seen at the end of the party showing off wads of fresh US dollars (estimated at up to $50,000) and excitedly saying: “Who wants to help you, don’t stress?” Some of the musicians were sprayed with dollars while performing.
An attendee told PREMIUM TIMES that the birthday showcased “exotic wines, expensive but delicious food, crisp dollars and obscene opulence.” The source estimated that organizing the event had cost the organizers billions of naira.
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“We basically shut down Grenada and the citizens of that country knew there were Nigerians in the city, they knew the eagles had landed,” said the source, who asked not to be identified to avoid being ostracized by friends.
“But what surprised me the most was seeing Governor Sanwo-Olu at the event. Are you not sensitive to the mood of the Nigerian nation? What was he doing there as a public figure?