At the Federal Executive Council meeting that took place today in the Council Chamber of the State House, Abuja, only 22 of Nigeria’s 36 ministers were present for the cabinet meeting. During the meeting the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachil David Lawal, in his prayer revealed that three ministers of the federation are currently sick.
He prayed for Aisha Alhassan, the Minister of Women Affairs. He revealed that she is recuperating from surgery in the United States of America.
He also prayed for the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, whom according to Lawal, is suffering from back pain.
At the conclusion of his prayers, one of his colleagues reminded him that he had left out the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril. Lawal quickly added Jibril’s name to his list of sick cabinet members. He, however, did not disclose the nature of Jibril’s sickness.
All of this comes in the wake of President Buhari’s medical vacation to the United Kingdom to treat a persistent ear infection.
Before the FEC meeting today, Nigerians have been in the dark regarding the state of health of the aforementioned ministers. Albeit speculations that the minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, has been in the US for the last two months receiving orthopaedic treatment.
Not long ago, Nigerians were frowning at the N3.87 billion that was allocated for capital projects at the State House Clinic, an amount that exceeds the combined budget of all the Federal Government Teaching Hospitals. One of the excuses given then was that the Buhari-led administration is making such huge investments to curb medical tourism of government officials by providing necessary medical and diagnostic equipment. Although we are still in the 2016 budget cycle, we can only hope that subsequent health trips by the President and his ministers will be to the State House Hospital and not the airport.