More facts emerged Tuesday on how the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, contacted food poisoning in Dubai late August during her trip to the oil-rich country.
A Presidency source told our correspondent that after efforts to stabilise her worsening health condition proved abortive by a combined team of the Presidency’s health team, the office of the National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, was immediately contacted on Friday, August 24 to make emergency arrangement for a flight to Italy where she was expected to be treated at a specialist hospital.
Though spirited effort were made to airlift the First Lady, getting permit to fly European skies was said to have frustrated the move until sometime in the midnight when a positive response was obtained from the German Authorities.
Following the approval, a Presidential jet departed Abuja on Saturday, August 25 to Frankfurt with wife of the President and a few trusted aides.
On their arrival at Frankfurt, the ailing first Lady was taken to Wisbaden where she was admitted and is currently being treated for food poisoning.
The source said: "I am aware that she contacted food poisoning in Dubai. We really can’t say exactly what she ate in Dubai which resulted in the ailment. But as soon as it was becoming difficult to get her stabilised here, we were advised to fly her to Bologna, Italy where a particular hospital is said to be good in handling such matter.
"Because it was an emergency case and there was no assurance that a permit would be granted for the team to fly European skies that night, we were still thinking of an alternative until words came in from the German authorities that we could fly in the next day. Calls were made to those asked to be on the alert for a journey to Italy as they would now be flying to Germany. The team left for Frankfurt the next day, Saturday, August 25 and Madam was then taken to Wisbaden where she is currently undergoing treatment."
Asked why there was no official statement on the matter, another source said:"I really can’t say but there is no truth in the rumour that’she underwent any operation. Before she left, the medical team was sure it was food poisoning which came out of what she probably ate in Dubai. I am not in the media team of the First Lady and therefore would not know why a statement was not issued.
"All I know is that the First Lady is recuperating and even shook hands with some of the aides that followed her to Germany before she was admitted. She never flew out in an air ambulance but in an official Presidential jet. "
Since the news of her ill health was published by an online news agency, the Presidency has kept mum over the real state of Dame Jonathan’s health, insisting that she had simply travelled out for some "moment’s rest" following doctor’s advice.