by Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja



The Presidency said on Tuesday that it expected Nigerians to empathise with the First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe | credits:

The Presidency said it did not expect Nigerians to be probing into her health problems, but to pray for her.

Senior Special Assistant to the President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said this when asked to speak on the First Lady’s whereabouts.

He was asked to also clarify if the silence from the Presidency on Mrs. Jonathan was not fuelling rumours concerning her health.

The President’s wife is believed to be in Germany, where she is being treated for undisclosed ailments.

Though she had left the country over a month ago, the Presidency had refused to speak if she was actually ill or not.

Okupe, who was very reluctant to speak on the issue argued that Nigeria had gone through a lot of trauma in term of leadership, deaths and ill luck in the past.

He did not forget to mention how a former President, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua also died in office.

He, therefore, said that even if it was a suggestion that the President’s wife was actually sick, he expected Nigerians to feel for her.

He said, “Ordinarily, I do not want to comment on this matter. Nigerians have gone through a lot of trauma in term of leadership and death and ill luck and all that (in the past).

“(Gen Sani) Abacha died in the Villa, Obasanjo’s wife (Stella) died in the Villa, (President Umaru) Yar’Adua lost his life in the Villa.

“I think even if it is a suggestion that the wife of the President is sick, what I will expect Nigerians to feel is empathy, not probing, not questioning (about her health).

“Have we become so disenchanted with leadership as to believe that the leadership is inhuman? I believe that the First Lady is hale and hearty. I want to leave it like that.”


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