Sacked power minister Saleh Mamman says he was hibernating at a five-star hotel, Transcorp Hilton, after leaving the hospital.
Peoples Gazette reported that Mr Mamman collapsed in Abuja and landed at the hospital on Wednesday after being told by President Muhammadu Buhari that he had been relieved of his job.
In an interview with BBC Hausa, the dismissed minister admitted that he had been ill and receiving treatment since last weekend.
“Even before the sack was announced, I have been seriously ill. I had not even gone to the office since earlier in the week. So, yesterday (Wednesday) and today (Thursday), I also went back to the hospital for another round of checkup,” Mr Mamman said. “The doctor instructed that I needed some rest. So, I remained at one place to rest.”
The ex-minister mentioned that he found a “serene and quiet” place to “rest,” explaining why he stayed away from his house.
“I found a serene and quiet environment to rest and take medication as recommended by the doctor,” said Mr Mamman. “I didn’t stay at home because sympathisers are trooping to console me. This would prevent me from resting and convalescing on time. But I was also not hospitalised, and I didn’t faint as reported.”
Before the dismissed minister’s comments, The Gazette some days ago reported that Mr Mamman had been quietly receiving treatment at a hospital in Abuja.
Mr Mamman, 63, was said to have been living at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja for more than three weeks on the bills of some powerful interests in the power sector, who were hoping he would still be in the office to be able to award lucrative contracts.
“He has been living permanently at Transcorp Hilton since early August,” sources told The Gazette. “His bills were being covered by elements in the power sector who were looking forward to more lucrative contracts before the bad news of his dismissal struck yesterday.”
He also reportedly has plans to run for governor in Taraba by 2023, a claim The Gazette has not been able to corroborate independently.