By Omololu Ogunmade
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday approved the immediate medical treatment of former Vice-President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, outside the country.
The approval, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, followed a brief the president received yesterday on the medical state of the former vice-president.
The approval, Shehu said, covered the immediate charter of an Air Ambulance for his emergency movement and the cost of treatment. He added that the president prayed God to grant the elder statesman speedy recovery.
The former Vice President had been hospitalised over an undisclosed ailment while his handlers had allegedly warned that he should not be flown abroad for medical treatment until he was stabilised.
Â Ekwueme reportedly collapsed and was admitted at the Intensive Care Unit of an Enugu based hospital, Memfys Hospital for Neurosurgery.
He was said to have collapsed around 2am last weekend, at his residence in Independence Layout, Enugu, few days after he celebrated his 85th birthday.
â€œHe was trying to get something from the table when he suddenly collapsed and immediately someone raised the alarm, we proceeded to revive him while cautious enough not to attract neighbours.
Â â€œWhen it became obvious that he had lapsed into coma, we rushed him to a hospital in GRA, but we were referred to Memphys Hospital by medical consultants who had critically examined his condition.
â€œWhen there was no sign of improvement on Monday afternoon, we rallied round and informed the former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, who is like a son, and he has been making plans to fly him overseas,â€ a relative was anonymously quoted to have said.
Following apprehension and speculations over Ekwuemeâ€™s health, the family has allayed fears over his health condition
â€œDr. Alex I. Ekwueme, GCON, the former Vice President Federal Republic of Nigeria, was on Sunday 29th October 2017 admitted into hospital for a chest infection. â€œIt will be recalled that the former Vice President had a quiet celebration of his 85th birthday on 21st October 2017 in the company of his family members and remained in high spirits up till his recent health challenges.
â€œHis doctors confirm that he is stable, but he will remain under close medical attention in the meantime. The family would like to express its profound gratitude to all Nigerians who have shown concern over this development and requests their sustained support and prayers as he continues to make a full recovery.â€ A statement from the family said.