Thursday, October 18, 2012

First Lady leaves hospital and is back in Abuja

First Lady Patience Jonathan returned to Abuja yesterday after weeks in a German hospital, saying people who thought she would die in Aso Rock because of previous deaths of Presidential spouses forgot that not all leaders were bereaved while in the Villa.

Mrs Jonathan left Nigeria around August 28 with no public announcement on where she was headed. On September 3 Daily Trust broke the story that she went to Germany on a medical trip, but her aide told the newspaper that the First Lady only travelled abroad to rest after series of tiring official activities.

During her absence, rumours circulated that Mrs Jonathan underwent cosmetic surgery similar to the one that caused the death of Mrs. Stella Obasanjo.

Some messages on social media went to the extent of speculating that she may not survive the surgery because two successive Presidential couples did not come out of Aso Rock together.

"Thank God Almighty for bringing me back safely to Nigeria. Wherever there are good people there are also bad ones," the First Lady said shortly after alighting from a Presidential jet that ferried her back from Germany.

Mrs Jonathan was received at the airport by Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson, Petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, Environment minister Hadiza Mailafia, Education minister Ruqayyatu Rufai, Labour minister Emeka Wogu, some ministers of states, wife of the Senate President, Mrs Helen Mark, some wives of state governors and other government officials.

"There are a few Nigerians that are saying whatever they like not what God planned because God has a plan for all of us," she said into a microphone held by a Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) journalist, amidst cheering by a large crowd that turned up to welcome her.

"And God has said it all that when two or three are gathered in his name that he will be with them. And Nigerians gathered and prayed for me and God listened and heard their prayers. So, I thank God for that.

"At the same time, I will use this opportunity to tell those few ones that are saying that anybody that goes to Villa or Aso Rock will die. They mentioned Abacha, they mentioned Stella Obasanjo, they mentioned Yar'Adua and other people. But those people, why didn't they mention those ones that went there with their families and succeeded and they still came out alive?

"We should remember that Aso Rock is the seat of power and that is where God has ordained for we Nigerians that our leaders should rule from and to rule us right. God is wonderful and his infinite mercy."

While she was away, Mrs Jonathan was reported to be hospitalised at the Horst Schmidt Klinik in Wiesbaden, Germany, for food poisoning and ruptured appendix.

But yesterday she denied being in that hospital or undergoing cosmetic surgery, though she didn't say which hospital she went to or which ailment she suffered.

"At the same time, I read in the media where they said I was in the hospital. God Almighty knows I have never been to that hospital, I don't even know the hospital they mentioned," she said.

"I have to explain what God has done for me. I do not have terminal illness, or rather any cosmetic surgery, talk less of tummy tuck. My husband loves me as I am and I am pleased with how God created me I cannot add."

She called the period of her absence "my trial time" and thanked those who offered support. "God has given be a second chance to come and work with women of Nigeria, children and the less privileged. I have come to save Nigeria, I have come to work with Nigerians, I am there for them. Once more I am pleased to be back. I love Nigerians they are my family," she added.

Soon after her arrival, Mrs Jonathan left the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and headed to the Presidential Villa, where she was received by President Goodluck Jonathan and other well-wishers.

She was seen hugging the President, her children and mother in-law.

Mrs. Jonathan's return, just like her departure, was shrouded in secrecy as there was no public announcement on it.

Yesterday was the first time she was seen in public since sometime in August. But last week, she was shown in a grainy, short video clip on the NTA when the president visited her in Germany.

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