The First Lady’s spokesperson claimed Sahara Reporters is trying to demonise her.
The Presidency has refuted allegations that the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, was dropped from a State visit delegation to Namiba and South Africa due to ill health.
The Special Assistant (Media) to the First Lady, Ayo Osinlu, said this is a statement released on Tuesday.
“This morning, we woke up to the latest in the series of deliberate efforts by Sahara Reporters, both to mislead the innocent public and demonize the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dame (Dr.) Patience Goodluck Jonathan.
“This time, it is about the First Lady being “dropped from President Jonathan’s upcoming official visit to Namibia and South Africa” for, according to their evil imagination, reasons of “deteriorated” health,” the statement by Mr. Osinlu said.
The First lady’s spokesperson claimed the “report is absolutely untrue and a creation of the wicked expectations of Sahara Reporters and those who pay their bills”.
According to Mr. Osinlu, for the avoidance of doubt, “the First Lady is not an official of the Federal Government of Nigeria, and is therefore not under obligation to join every foreign trip made by her husband, in perfect expression of his statutory duty to foster both bi-lateral and multi-lateral advantages for the country”.
He also said that the First Family is at liberty to determine what trips they make together.
Part of the statement reads: ” The mischief behind this online medium’s sudden worry that the First Lady is not on the President’s trip abroad is betrayed by the fact that the same medium led its allied choristers to belly-ache in the past about the frequency of her presence by her husband’s side on official engagements outside the country.
“The question therefore is, what exactly does Sahara Reporters and its sponsors want?”
Mr. Osinlu said “the First Lady effectively participated in the tasking National Conference on 100 years of the Nigerian Woman, which she hosted as a component of the Centenary Celebration of the country in Lagos, April 18-19, 2013.”
“Those who attended or watched the event on live television (NTA and AIT) will confirm that we saw a healthy and active First Lady in attendance during the Conference.
“Only last Friday, she also presided at the Official Commissioning of the Nigerian Prisons Staff School, built in the Federal Capital by the Prisons Officers’ Wives Association (PROWA). Media reports of the event were still trickling as at yesterday.
“Meanwhile, the First Lady is also billed to be the Keynote Speaker at a Religious, Traditional and Adolescents Leaders Conference, as part of the launching of the National Strategy for the Prevention of Teenage Pregnancy in Sierra Leone next week. Her preparation for this is well advanced.
“It certainly does not appear that someone with this sort of schedule is suffering deteriorating health or has been under close medical observation.
“We are however grateful to the “medical gurus” at Sahara Reporters, whose original diagnosis that the First Lady was experiencing a “terminal ailment” has now improved to one that “may be manageable!”
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