Sunday, 31 March 2013
Patience Jonathan Sick Again, In Europe For Treatment
SaharaReporters has learned that Nigeria's First Lady, Patience Jonathan, is sick again and is shuttling between Spain and Germany in search of treatment. A source also told SaharaReporters that the First Lady was also contemplating receiving medical treatment from a US hospital.
Mrs. Jonathan’s renewed health woes have accounted for her absence from several official events in Abuja and her home state of Bayelsa State over the last few days. A few days ago, Mrs. Jonathan made a quiet exit from Abuja en route to France where she was to allegedly receive some unspecified award. However, a source within the Presidency told SaharaReporters that Mrs. Jonathan’s trip to France was a ploy to enable her to shop for new doctors in Europe for her deteriorating health.
A source disclosed that she left France for Spain. The same source disclosed that the First Lady was considering being moved to a US hospital today. However, a source in the US who is close to the First Family told SaharaReporters that he was “not heard from the first lady regarding her trip to the US.”
Ayo Osinlu, a spokesman of the First Lady, told SaharaReporters that Mrs. Jonathan was in Europe in order to care for an ailing elderly woman who helped raise the First Lady. He failed to disclose the specific European nation where Mrs. Jonathan’s foster mother is hospitalized.
During Mrs. Jonathan’s first extended medical sojourn in Germany, Mr. Osinlu had misled reporters by declaring that the First Lady was merely vacationing abroad after what he described as a series of grueling official functions, including the hosting of a conference of African First Ladies.
Mrs. Jonathan was noticeably absent from a Friday church service organized at the presidential villa yesterday as part of Easter celebrations. She was also missing at another key event where her Africa First Ladies Peace Mission donated relief material to the war-torn country of Mali. An aide of the First Lady reported that a minister, Ms. Jumoke Akinjide, represented Mrs. Jonathan at the event where relief material was donated to Mali.
During the church service at the Presidential Villa, President Jonathan was flanked by his elderly mother, Eunice Jonathan, as well as Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke and Ndudi Elumelu, a member of the House of Representatives indicted for corruption in power sector projects. Mrs. Alison-Madueke, who has been romantically linked to Mr. Jonathan, wore a large diamond ring at the church service.
One of the last times Mrs. Jonathan was seen in public was on her return from an official visit to Cote d’Ivoire on March 2, 2013. She later made a brief visit to Lagos where she attended a dinner organized for Nollywood stars. Afterwards, she was sighted in Paris where she received the “Global Women Leader for Peace Award 2013.” Since receiving the award on March 17, the First Lady has not been seen in any official photos released from the Presidency.
Her trip to Paris coincided with her husband’s official visit to Equatorial Guinea. Mr. Jonathan was accompanied on that official visit by two female ministers, Stella Oduah of Aviation and Ms. Diezani of Petroleum.
A source in Abuja said Mrs. Jonathan had not been seen in public for close to a week and half, including during a breakfast meeting with the members of the House of Representatives led by Leo Ogor on March 21, 2013.
A few weeks ago, Mrs. Jonathan was at the center of an obscene event where she loquaciously celebrated her ostensible “resurrection from the dead” after dying for more than a week. Some 5,000 guests attended the event at the villa which was televised live, with Pastor Oritsejafor presiding. At the event, Mrs. Jonathan claimed to have undergone several surgeries during her medical sojourn in Germany. The extended medical visit, which was first reported by Saharareporters, cost Nigeria close to 5 million Euros in medical expenses. Mrs. Jonathan’s aides had initially passed off her medical trip as a vacation. On her return from Germany, Mrs. Jonathan had also denied ever going for medical treatment.
Saharareporters contacted several presidential aides seeking information about Mrs. Jonathan’s whereabouts, but they failed to return our reporters’ phone calls and text messages.