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Oyo: Obasanjo’s Ill-health, a Hoax

Posted by From Josephine Lohor and Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja on 2005/06/08 | Views: 508 |

Oyo: Obasanjo’s Ill-health, a Hoax


Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Mrs. Remi Oyo, yesterday dismissed widespread rumours that President Olu-segun Obasanjo suddenly took ill in the early hours of yesterday.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Mrs. Remi Oyo, yesterday dismissed widespread rumours that President Olu-segun Obasanjo suddenly took ill in the early hours of yesterday.

The rumour of Obasanjo’s ill-health started making the rounds in Abuja at about 2 am yesterday and was the subject of hush discussions around the city throughout the day.

But Oyo in a three-paragraph statement said, “Following unfounded rumours about President Olusegun Obasanjo’s health, the Presidential Villa has been inundated with calls from concerned Nigerians.

“The Presidency thanked all those who have called for their concern for the President’s well been and wished to assure all Nigerians that President Obasanjo remains in very good health and strength.

“The President has indeed being at work all day and granted audiences to several visitors including the outgoing Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Dr. Abel Guobadia; a group of investors from India; and the Presidential Peace Committee on the PDP (People’s Democratic Party) crisis in Kogi State.”

Kwara State Governor Bukola Saraki who alongside Mr. Kanumuru Raju, Chairman of Nargarijuna Group of Companies from India had audience with the President yesterday expressed surprise at the rumour.

He said Obasanjo was looking very hale and hearty as he chatted with him and the businessman. “I don’t know what could have led to such a rumour. I can say it authoritatively that Mr. President is very okay and Nigerians should ignore wicked speculations,” Saraki said.

Senator Tunde Ogbeha who participated in the Kogi PDP peace meeting which lasted over three hours at the Presidential Villa, told THISDAY when contacted that “I’m not a medical doctor but the man I saw and held meeting with did not look sick in any way.”

“I recall reminding him that there were no longer bitter kolas and kolanuts in the trays of the conference room and he jokingly responded that it is because of monetisation. We all burst out laughing. He walked the way I use to see him walk and was moving around the whole place with his usual bounce,” Ogbeha said.
The rumour of Obasanjo’s ill-health was received by THISDAY in the early hours of yesterday when an aide to a serving minister called to find out if it was true that the president took ill.

The rumour was, however, received by Obasanjo’s aides around 2am when they began to receive distress calls seeking confirmation of Mr. President’s ill health. By yesterday morning, Presidency apparatchiks moved to play down the rumour by releasing Obasanjo’s itinerary for radio broadcasts.

THISDAY also gathered that the matter became worrisome in the Presidential Villa when no fewer than eight governors called seeking clarifications concerning the president’s state of health apart from several calls said to have been received by the president from abroad.

Also, official sources said there were security reports linking the rumour of Obasanjo’s ill health with plots to foment riot in Jos, Plateau State.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.