The federal government says it will not disclose the amount spent in treating President Muhammadu Buhari in London.
Buhari returned to the country on March 10 after spending 49 days in the United Kingdom.
Speaking with top government officials shortly after his return, the president confessed that he had never been that sick in his entire life.
“I have received I think the best of treatment I could receive. I couldn’t recall being so sick since I was a young man, including the military with its ups and downs. I found out that technology is going so fast… Blood transfusion, going to the laboratories, and so on and so forth,” he had revealed.
Human right groups and some individuals have been mounting pressure on the government to disclose the president’s medical bill in the UK.
But speaking with state house correspondents on Wednesday, Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, said disclosing the medical cost of Buhari was against national security.
He said he was not aware of anywhere in the world where the president was forced to divulge his medical bills.
Mohammed acknowledged the role of the freedom of information (FOI) Act, but said it excluded issues bothering on national security.
“This matter (the president’s medical bill) has come several times and our position is quite straight forward,” he said.
“What are the president’s conditions of service? What are his entitlements in terms of his wellbeing and health care? The state is supposed to take responsibility for these.
“We believe that asking for how much has been spent on the health of the president is an issue that we should weigh very well, both for national security and also for moral issues. I don’t know why we must divulge such very sensitive information.
“I might be wrong but I don’t know of anywhere else where the president will be ill and be forced to disclose how much the state spent on his health.
“Yes, there is freedom of information act, but it is also carved in such a way that when such information is likely to endanger national security, that area is covered.”
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