SaharaReporters has learnt that a team of doctors attending Nigeria’s ailing First Lady, Patience Jonathan, have ruled out the possibility of her joining President Goodluck Jonathan when he travels next week to New York City. Mr. Jonathan is on his way to New York to attend this year’s session of the United Nations General Assembly.
A presidency source told our correspondent that the president and his wife had hoped to be in New York together in order to quell speculations that Mrs. Jonathan’s health condition had turned dire. However, the source revealed that the president’s wife went through two relapse episodes during the week and had to be put under intensive care. “The doctors in Germany have informed us that she cannot – and should not – go on a long trip at this time,” said the source.
Another source also indicated that Mrs. Jonathan was unlikely to return to Nigeria this weekend as the Presidency had hoped.
Our sources disclosed that it was now unclear how long Mrs. Jonathan would remain in a hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany. “The plan was to take her on the trip to the United Nations in order to silence critics and reporters that revealed that Madam was not on vacation but in a precarious medical state,” said one of the sources.
SaharaReporters had broken the news three weeks ago that Mrs. Jonathan was airlifted to Germany after she reportedly had “food poisoning” in Dubai. In response to our exclusive, aides of both Mrs. Jonathan and the president denied that the First Lady was sick and claimed that she merely traveled abroad “for a moment’s rest” at an undisclosed location. The aides added that Mrs. Jonathan was fatigued from a strenuous calendar that included hosting a meeting of African First Ladies in Abuja.
In the face of official concerted efforts to cover up Mrs. Jonathan’s condition, SaharaReporters learnt from sources within the Presidency that the ailing First Lady had undergone surgery in Germany after she was initially treated for infections arising from a procedure she undertook in Dubai.
So far, the Nigerian Presidency has not made any official pronouncement on Mrs. Jonathan’s condition. President Jonathan, who last week cut short a state visit to Botswana, has maintained stoic silence since the story broke.
Meanwhile, Mr. Jonathan will be accompanied on his New York by 11 ministers as well as the governors of Bauchi, Delta and Akwa Ibom. Mr. Jonathan and his delegation are expected to arrive in New York on Monday.