4th September, 2012
Patience Faka Jonathan, wife of Nigeria’s president has been receiving medical treatment in Germany for an illness suspected to have been food poisoning, presidency sources have confirmed, although they were unwilling to admit officially.
Nigeria’s media have been rife with speculation over the 55-year-old first lady’s condition, but officials have not responded to requests for comment, except to admit that she was out of the country to rest. But some other sources said her journey was for health reasons and that she indeed had a surgery in a German hospital for ruptured appendicitis.
“It is true that the first lady is ill. She was flown to Germany for medical treatment some 10 days ago,” a presidency source told AFP on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak publicly.
“Initially it was for food poisoning that we know of, but we learnt that she underwent surgery last week. I really don’t know yet the purpose of the surgery.”
The source added that she had been expected to return to Nigeria last week, but “the German hospital is insisting on her full recovery before her discharge.”
In July, she was sworn in as permanent secretary in the oil-rich state of Bayelsa, her husband’s home state.