An intestinal problem has forced President Jonathan to cancel a planned surprise visit to the Super Eagles in South Africa, medical sources in London said today.
The Nigeria president, who is on a whirlwind three-nation trip to Egypt, the United Kingdom and France, had planned to surprise the Super Eagles in South Africa following their qualification for the final of the African Cup of Nations last Wednesday.
However, in London Mr. Jonathan came down with an intestinal disorder referred to as Amoebic Colitis and he underwent testing at the London Clinic on Harley Street. The clinic is highly favoured by Nigeria’s rich and powerful.
A medical source told Saharareporters that Mr. Jonathan's situation is not worrisome but that the persistent nature of the condition meant the president had to undergo some screenings. It was not clear why he did not undertake the screenings in Abuja, where State House has an excellent clinic manned by a largely idle staff.
Meanwhile, former Nigerian dictator Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida was also sighted at the InterContinental Hotel in London limping on one leg. Mr. Babangida was helped into a vehicle by two aides on his way to a hospital in the city.
It was not clear if President Jonathan previously knew of Babangida's stay at the same hotel but the two met briefly as Babangida struggled to get to his car.
Mr. Jonathan is expected to arrive in France on Monday, according to his itinerary, but it is unclear if his health issue will force a change. Mr. Jonathan’s wife, Patience, last month returned to hospital in Germany following new health concerns.
The president has detailed the Senate President, David Mark, to cheer on the Super Eagles to victory in their final match against Burkina Faso tomorrow.
A presidency source said the President plans a massive reception for the Super Eagles in Abuja on Tuesday night.
Following decades of irresponsible management of the Nigerian economy, including failure to develop the health sector, Nigeria’s leaders and their families routinely hurry off to the developed world to squander valuable foreign exchange even on minor health procedures.
Two years ago, Babangida’s wife died in a hospital in California. Prior to that, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s wife died in a hospital in Spain.