By Dare Lawal
The doctors who examined Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan in London has certified him fully fit.
Jonathan was examined following the sudden onset of severe abdominal pains in London.
According to a statement by the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Reuben Abati, the president is set to return home on Sunday evening and will resume work the next day.
Abati said that after a thorough evaluation of the President’s symptoms, medically referred to as acute abdomen, the doctors concluded that no surgical intervention was required.
According to the statement, the President is scheduled to depart from London at about 1400 hours GMT and arrive at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at about 2000 hours.
President Goodluck Jonathan has also denied speculations in a section of the media that his health broke down in London after engaging in drinking spree during a bash organised to mark his 56th birthday.
He said contrary to the claim, he observed his birthday on Wednesday quietly with better part of the day spent in the air while in transit from Abuja to London while the remaining part was spent in privacy in his hotel room.
Abati who also clarified this, commended the generality of the mainstream media whose coverage of Jonathan’s health challenge in London, he described as mostly factual, objective, fair-minded and supportive.
Abati however condemned the “utterly irresponsible, deplorable, highly unprofessional and unethical antics of certain fringe elements operating in the nebulous sphere of cyberspace who persist in seizing every opportunity to unjustifiably malign and impugn the character and integrity of the elected leader of their country.
“It is very regrettable indeed that after, in compliance with President Jonathan’s standing instruction that Nigerians must never be kept in the dark about the state of his health, the public was duly informed that the President had received precautionary medical attention for an unexpected indisposition in London, Sahara Reporters and some other reckless, lawless, impudent and unpatriotic internet-based media chose to assault the sensibilities of all decent Nigerians again with their entirely fictional, malicious, hate-driven and scurrilous distortion of the facts of the President’s indisposition.
“The suggestion by Sahara Reporters that President Jonathan took ill following a “heavy birthday party thrown to celebrate the President’s 56th birthday at his Presidential suite in the InterContinental Hotel in London” is fictional nonsense as there was definitely no party in London to celebrate President Jonathan’s birthday on Wednesday night.
“The truth is that President Jonathan observed his 56th birthday anniversary quietly. For part of the day, he was airborne, in transit between Abuja and London. On arrival in London, he spent the rest of the day in the privacy of his hotel room. It has never been his custom to celebrate birthday anniversaries and no exception was made this year. No birthday party was therefore held for the President in London and there was certainly no drinking spree as Sahara Reporters claimed.
“As unregulated as they are, Sahara Reporters and their ilk are not beyond the bounds of legal action for libel and willful defamation of the character and reputation of a President who has courageously stepped forward to serve his country.
“They know very well that they can never substantiate or prove the constant false allegations and innuendoes they publish for the sole purpose of negatively portraying President Jonathan and his administration.
“Their incessant claim of a bibulous President is pure fiction and blackmail, and the product of malicious imagination. We warn that our forbearance of their disrespectful caricaturing of the President is not limitless.”