For a few weeks now, the First Lady of Nigeria, Patience Jonathan has been in Germany. There have been several media reports claiming she is ill and receiving treatment in Germany. Various ailments have been attributed for her sudden disappearance from the Presidential Villa. However, the Presidency only denied this report in an early statement, when the news went viral and has been silent about it since.
She was scheduled to accompany President Goodluck Jonathan to the the first-ever High-Level Plenary Session of the United Nations on the Rule of Law in New York yesterday. However, she was unable to attend.
The Nation reports that President Jonathan who flew out of the country on Sunday to New York had a stop over in Germany to visit his “ailing wife.”
Sources in New York and at The Presidency in Abuja told The Nation yesterday that the President made a stopover in Frankfurt from where he travelled to Wisbaden to see the First Lady.
“Yes; I can confirm to you that there was a stopover in Germany. That should be expected, especially when the First Lady has been out of the country for quite some time. The most important thing is that the President arrived New York on schedule and he is already settling down for what he came to do here.”
The Special Assistant to the First Lady on Media, Ayo Osinlu said she was expected back in the country this week but did not give a specific date.
Despite the Presidency’s initial denial that the First Lady was not ill and was only “taking a moment’s rest” in Germany, the prolonged “rest” has only fueled speculations that she is indeed ill. She was once reported to be receiving treatment for “food poisoning” and then for “ruptured appendicitis” and later for “uterine fibroids”.
In this situation, does the Presidency owe Nigerians an obligation to tell us the true state of the First Lady’s health or is it proper to continue in this hush-hush manner of denying speculations on her health and keeping mute for so long?