In Nigeria, public office holders often usually 'lie' about their health status. Contrary to the official claims that President Goodluck Jonathan travelled to Germany on a private visit, Leaders has disclosed that the president actually took ill and had to leave the country for Germany to seek medical care.
Efforts to get a confirmation from the Presidency failed up until the time of going to press, as several calls to his spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati, did not go through and he didn’t respond to an email enquiry either.
Similarly, the senior special assistant to the president on public affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, did not pick or return several calls to his mobile number last night. It was gathered that President Jonathan, on arrival in Germany, headed for a private hospital in the Germany for urgent medical attention.
Jonathan left for Germany on Friday. Prior to his departure, presidential spokesman Abati had issued a terse statement saying the president would be making a "private visit" to Germany as from Friday and that he would be accompanied by some of his principal aides.
Before his sudden departure for Germany on Thursday, President Jonathan was billed to host members of the just-concluded National Conference to a dinner at the Presidential Villa, but the programme was cancelled at the dying minute.
Although no official reason was given for the cancellation, it was gathered that the development was connected with the president’s state of health which required urgent attention.
An authoritative source in the Presidency told LEADERSHIP that despite assurances that the president would return soon from his trip, it was not likely as his health situation was not too good. He said there was uneasy calm and anxiety in the Presidential Villa over the state of health of President Jonathan.