Ghana’s vice president, Mahamudu Bawumia, is in the United Kingdom on medical leave, the presidency confirmed over the weekend in a statement.
The statement said Bawumia left for the U.K. on Friday for medical leave on the advice of his doctors. He was accompanied by his wife Samira Bawumia.
The exact ailment he is suffering from is unknown even though people on social media are pushing for disclosure. The government has been mute on that.
The information minister in response to calls for the veep to have sought treatment at home, said Bawumia opted to go the the U.K. to avoid distraction by family members.
The former central bank boss was crucial to the December 2016 electoral victory of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. He is touted as the brain behind the ruling New Patriotic Party’s economic blueprint.
Bawumia’s trip reopens the debate about why African leaders opt to seek medical treatment abroad. They are accused of overseeing crippling health facilities back home because they have the privilege of seeking superior care outside.
Last year, Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari spent over 100 days in the U.K. on medical leave. Benin president Patrice Talon, former Angola leader Eduardo dos Santos was in Spain. Ousted Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe made his routine Singapore medical check trip.