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Nigerian minister poisoned in Abuja, fights for life in hospital

Lola Ade-John, 60, was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, shortly after she started manifesting symptoms of her poisoning, family sources told The Gazette.

• September 29, 2023
Lola Ade-John
Lola Ade-John (Credit: Lola Ade-John)

Nigerian tourism minister has been hospitalised in Abuja after suffering acute poisoning from unknown origins, Peoples Gazette was told, as her family members fear time was running against their efforts to save her life. 

Lola Ade-John, 60, was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, shortly after she started manifesting symptoms of her poisoning, according to family sources familiar with her ordeal. She has spent four days at the facility as of Friday morning, The Gazette heard. 

Ms Ade-John, a career banker and tech investor, has been on a machine to aid her breathing, our sources said. The specifics as to what substance she ingested and how could not be immediately established by The Gazette. The police and the State Security Service did not immediately return a request on whether or not any investigations had been opened into the matter.  

Her worsening situation has further set the family against the government, with the permanent secretary of her ministry said to be in disagreement as to whether she should continue receiving treatment at a public hospital or be moved to a better-equipped private facility downtown. 

The permanent secretary, Ngozi Onwudike, was said to have insisted that the minister should not be transferred because the FMC is a public hospital and its services wouldn’t attract substantial charges to the government, a position her family rebuffed. But they remained with her as they could not raise funds to move her to a private hospital, our sources said. A phone number for the permanent secretary did not connect on Friday morning. 

A spokesperson for the FMC did not immediately return a request seeking comments from The Gazette about Ms Ade-John’s condition. 

Ms Ade-John was appointed as a minister by President Bola Tinubu in August. She was immediately touted as one of the few cabinet members appointed from outside the political beltway. She was based in London for years before she was asked to return to the country to serve by the president. 

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