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Stella’s body arrives • I planned to be with her in Spain –Obasanjo

Posted by Dotun Oladipo, Tony Amokeodo, Michael Faloseyi and Niyi Odebode on 2005/10/24 | Views: 1804 |

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Stella’s body arrives • I planned to be with her in Spain –Obasanjo


President Olusegun Obasanjo, his deputy, Atiku Abubakar, family members and top government officials received the remains of the First Lady, Stella, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Monday.

President Olusegun Obasanjo, his deputy, Atiku Abubakar, family members and top government officials received the remains of the First Lady, Stella, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Monday.


The nation’s grief, which was compounded by the death of 117 passengers and crewmembers in an air crash last Saturday, was hard for many of those present at the airport to bear.


The arrival of the remains of Mrs. Obasanjo marked the commencement of a weeklong programme for her funeral.


According to a programme of events released by The Presidency on Monday, a commendation service would be held at the Aso Rock Villa Chapel on Tuesday beginning from 6pm.


On Wednesday, there will be a lying-in-state at the banquet hall of the State House, Abuja at 12pm and a service of songs from 6 pm at the same venue.


On Thursday, her remains would be moved to her husband’s hometown, Abeokuta, where the lying-in-state will be held at the Ogun State Government from 2pm.


Later on Thursday at 6pm, a Christian wake will be held at the Valley View auditorium at the Government House, Abeokuta.


An interdenominational service to be led by the Catholic Church will be held at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta, after which her remains will be interred at Obasanjo’s family house in the town.


The programme will be concluded with a thanksgiving service at the National Ecumenical Centre, Abuja.


The Ogun State Governor, who confirmed the programme of the funeral to reporters at the site of Saturday’s Bellview crash in Lisa, Ifo, said that dignitaries from all over the world are expected at the programmes.


Obasanjo, who had intended to join in wife in Spain to mark her 60th birthday on November 14, was still receiving condolence messages from within and outside the country on Monday.


Obasanjo said at a reception on Monday, "God gave her to me and He has taken her. Glory be to His name."


Though no official confirmation has been made about what type of surgery Mrs. Obasanjo underwent, the complications of which led to her death, there were strong indications on Monday that she underwent some form of cosmetic surgery; abdominoplasty, popularly called tummy tuck, is not ruled out.


Details on the areas of specialisation of the hospitals that Mrs. Obasanjo visited before her death revealed that they were both for cosmetic surgery.


She first went to Molding Clinic, located at A7, Km 176, Puerto Banus, 29600 Marbella (Malaga), before she was taken to Marbella High Care Clinic, when complications arose.


Molding Clinic specialises in cosmetic surgery and anti-ageing treatments, while Marbella specialises in "general, cataract and reconstructive surgery."


Efforts to speak with one of the directors of Molding Clinic, Mr. Nacirda Emilia, met a brick wall.


A receptionist at the Clinic, Andrea, told our correspondents at 8.45pm (about 10pm Spanish time), that the directors had closed for the day.


But a diplomatic source told the Agence France Press that there was no word yet on the autopsy.


A Spanish diplomat contacted by AFP said in Madrid that Nigeria’s first lady had been "on a private visit" to the seaside resort of Marbella, near Malaga, where she was hospitalised.


Another source close to a local undertaker told AFP that Mrs. Obasanjo was admitted to Marbella’s Molding Clinic in the Puerto Banus area, which does plastic surgery.


From there she was reportedly taken to Marbella’s Europa Hospital where she died, the source said on condition of anonymity.


According to hospital sources quoted by the Spanish media, Mrs. Obasanjo appeared to have gone into an "advanced state of shock" during surgery at a private clinic and did not recover.


She was an asthmatic patient.


The PUNCH, Tuesday, October 25, 2005

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