President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, November 3, 2017 announced that he had “ordered for” former Vice President Alex Ekwueme who has been diagnosed of chest infection be flown abroad for medical treatment.
A family source, who spoke with The Trent, on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, told our newspaper that the former vice president was scheduled for a medical trip in the UK the next day.
According to the law former presidents and vice presidents of Nigeria are entitled to medical treatment anywhere in the world and there is no limit to their medical coverage. So there is nothing for a president to “order” or “approve” for him to be treated abroad. It is an entitlement and it is at the discretion of the former leader.
According to a statement by a spokesperson of President Buhari, Garba Shehu, the “president gave the order after he received a brief on Ekwueme’s medical condition”.
He said the approval covers cost of chartering an air ambulance for the journey and the cost of his treatment.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate medical treatment of former Vice-President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, outside the country.
“The approval followed a brief the President received Friday on the medical condition of the former Vice-President.
“The approval covers the immediate charter of an Air Ambulance for the emergency movement and the cost of treatment.
“President Buhari prays that God will grant the elder statesman speedy recovery.”
The family source said that the ailing statesman had just returned from a family cruise celebrating his birthday in Singapore when he took ill.