There were fears, yesterday, over the health condition of cancer-stricken former minister of petroleum resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke.
The anxiety followed claims in some quarters that the woman, who has a running battle with cancer, passed on in London. However, a close family source said although the former minister was in critical condition, she was not dead.
The source, who pleaded for anonymity, told Daily Sun at about 7:45pm that he spoke with the former minister, a confirmation that she was alive.
A Lagos-based lawyer and counsel to Diezani’s family, Oscar Onwudiwe was quoted by an online portal of revealing that Diezani’s family members met yesterday over her health condition.
There have been unconfirmed reports that the ex-oil minister was not responding to treatment since Wednesday. The development, it was said, had been giving her family sleepless night.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke has been in the news since the inauguration of the Muhammadu Buhari government, following claims and counter-claims regarding financial transactions when she held sway as minister.
The home of the former minister was raided by operatives of the London Metropolitan police, who searched and allegedly took away handbags and some cash. She was arraigned in a London Court for alleged money laundering.
Weeks after the reported arraignment, Ovation Magazine published photos of her in a pitiable condition. Before the publication, Daily Sun had exclusively reported that she was suffering from cancer.
Confronted about financial transactions during her tenure as minister, Alison-Madueke spoke from her hospital bed and said she did not steal any money. The former minister said she was ready to clear her name.
A few months ago, her family opened up on the allegations and described media reports on the matter as a “smear campaign.”
The family confirmed that the former minister was down with cancer and urged Nigerians to pray for her recovery.
Confirming the health status of the former minister, the statement added: “Mrs. Alison-Madueke has been receiving treatment for cancer in the UK, which started while she was in office.
“The health crisis has unfortunately exacerbated in recent times. She completed months of chemotherapy and is scheduled to undergo surgery in London.
“The family pleads with all reasonable Nigerians to pray for her recovery so that she can face this allegation and give account of her stewardship.”