Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige said on Friday that President Muhammadu Buhari’s has the right to seek medical treatment in London.
He said Buhari’s current medical trip to the United Kingdom (UK) is to enable him seek a second opinion on his health as he has been doing in the last 40 years.
But the minister, who is a medical doctor himself, did not say what ails the president.
Overseas treatment, according to him, is part of the perks of office of a sitting President, former presidents and some judges in the country.
Ngige, who spoke exclusively to our correspondent, said Buhari’s shuttle to London has nothing to do with the sorry state of Nigerian hospitals.
He said: “Buhari has the right to travel for medical abroad for three reasons. Number one, you don’t constraint people on their choice of who will treat them for any ailment or who will be their doctor. That is number one. You have a choice there.
“Buhari is the head of the government of Nigeria and he has a physician attached to him as per the office. And if he runs test or does any diagnosis with his physician, he has a right to what we call ‘Second Opinion’.
“I, Chris Ngige, as small as I am and a medical doctor, I have been doing a Second Opinion on my health in the last 30 years.
“The third reason is that Buhari, as a head of hovernment, there are certain perquisites/ perks of office and conditions of service attached to offices and appointments in Nigeria.
“Some government officials and members of the Judiciary have in their appointment free medical treatment at home and abroad there. And the only thing you need to qualify for this is to do what is called Medical Board Evaluation. It is in our government books.