First Lady returns after weeks abroad
Wife of President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, returned to Abuja yesterday after spending about three weeks abroad.
There were reports during the week suggesting that she was flown abroad to an undisclosed German hospital for medical treatment. But this was denied by her spokesman.
The Nigerian Television Authority reported the arrival of Mrs. Jonathan at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, aboard a presidential jet in company with her children and close aides.
The wife of the Vice President, Hajia Amina Sambo, and some female ministers received her at the presidential wing of the airport.
Unconfirmed reports had it that the First Lady's health might have relapsed, thereby necessitating her going abroad to receive fresh medical attention.
But her media office had explained that her visit to the hospital was routine and had nothing to do with new health challenges.
The First Lady’s media aide, Ayo Osinlu stated that his principal had a history of constant visit to the hospital abroad as far back as when her husband was the governor of Bayelsa State.
Osinlu insisted that Mrs. Jonathan travelled abroad this time to attend to her aged aunt receiving medical attention and her children who are on vacation.
He said there was nothing wrong with regular medical check-ups, which are recommended regime for a healthy life for any individual.
“It is notable that Mrs. Jonathan has a history of visiting the hospital in Germany even before she became the first lady, thus making her medical trips routine,” Osinlu said.
He also added that: “It is also instructive to state that medical experts have recommended that every human being should undergo medical check-up every six months, even if not suffering ill health.
“Therefore, hospital visitations of our leaders should not become leading media issues or attract disrespectful comments.”
The statement noted that the first lady had been out of the country for about two weeks and that most of that time, she was on official trips that took her through Dubai, Paris to Italy and Germany, where she decided to attend to her personal affairs of looking after her foster-mother and children.
Osinlu said she participated “in the first Green Women Conference, which took place in Paris on March 17, where she received the 2013 Global Women Leaders' Award for Peace.
“She thereafter proceeded to Italy from where she went to Germany to see her mother, Mama Sisi, who is currently receiving medical attention,' pointing out that, she “is spending sometime overseeing the management of her mother's condition.
“She is also using the opportunity to spend quality time with her holidaying children before they return to school, as they are with her to see their grandmother.”
He lamented that: “It is unfortunate that again, some media houses have allowed themselves to be used by dedicated mischief makers against the basic tenet of professional journalism, which regards truth as sacred.”