THE Presidency on Saturday accused online medium, Sahara Reporters, of assaulting the sensibilities of Nigerians over its claim that President Goodluck Jonathan fell sick in London after partying late in the night celebrating his 56th birthday.
This is just he thanked all patriotic and well-meaning Nigerians, including his supporters, friends and political associates, who expressed and conveyed their sympathies and solidarity with him, through various means, following the announcement of his sudden indisposition while on a mission to attract greater investments to accelerate the growth of the Nigerian economy.
The president was examined and treated for sudden onset of severe abdominal pains in London, with the doctors certifying him fully fit to return home and continue his official duties.
President Jonathan is bound arrive in Abuja today, where he would be at work in the Presidential Villa on Monday, a statement released by his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, said.
The Presidency commended the mainstream media for their “mostly factual, objective, fair-minded and supportive” coverage of the president’s health challenge but blasted the online medium for its distortion of facts.
The statement warned the medium and “its ilk” that they were not beyond the bounds of libel action for wilful defamation of character and the reputation of the president.
“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 Inter-Continental 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.
“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.