Nigeria’s ambassador to Germany, Abdu Usman Abubakar, has stated that President Goodluck Jonathan, who was abruptly flown to Germany on Thursday, was doing well.
SaharaReporters had disclosed that Mr. Jonathan was flown to see his doctors in Wiesbaden, Germany a few hours after the Nigerian president rounded off the national confab in Abuja.
Mr. Jonathan’s sudden departure from Nigeria’s capital city and the cancellation of a scheduled dinner with members of the confab triggered panic and alarm amongst presidential aides and the Nigerian political class.
However, Nigeria’s top diplomat in Germany told SaharaReporters that Mr. Jonathan traveled to Germany for a well-deserved rest. To underscore his claim that the president was in fine shape, Ambassador Abubakar told a correspondent of SaharaReporters that Mr. Jonathan would have spoken directly to him but for a pep talk Mr. Jonathan was scheduled to give to the Nigerian female soccer team, the Falconets, who are currently competing in Montreal, Canada.
Mr. Abubakar also asserted that the Nigerian president was staying in a hotel and not in a medical ward at a hospital. According to the Nigerian diplomat, President Jonathan was eager to go back to work, but might observe a few more days of rest after watching the Falconets play in the women’s World Cup finals tomorrow. Saharareporters recalls during the dying days of late President Umaru Yar'adua his voice was faked to wish Nigeria soccer players well during a qualifying match in Agola in January 2010.
Despite the ambassador’s assurances about Mr. Jonathan’s robust health, a source at the Presidency claimed that the president was flown out of Nigeria for reasons related to ill health. The source said, however, that he was not sure whether the president was staying in a hospital or was an outpatient, adding that he could not tell if Mr. Jonathan was receiving treatment at the same hospital frequently by former President Umaru Yar’Adua, his immediate predecessor. Mr. Yar’Adua died in May 2010 after months of receiving treatment in Germany and a hospital in Saudi Arabia.
In 2012, President Jonathan’s spouse, Patience Jonathan, spent several weeks in a hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany. She was treated for a series of ailments. After SaharaReporters broke the news of Mrs. Jonathan’s hospitalization, her then spokesman claimed that she had traveled abroad to rest after hosting a meeting of African First Ladies in Abuja.