Togolese opposition leader Emmanuel Akitani-Bob is in Paris, undergoing medical checks and treatment. aides deny that Mr. Akitani-Bob, who placed second in Togo's presidential elections, is in critical condition.
Mr. Akitani-Bob arrived to Paris early Friday, where he is reportedly at the American Hospital in the suburban town of Neuilly, undergoing treatment. News agencies report the 74-year-old opposition leader suffered a stroke which has left him partially paralyzed. They also reported he had been in a coma Sunday and Monday.
But in a telephone interview with VOA, Apsu Homawoo, head of protocol for Mr. Akitani-Bob, denied the 74-year-old politician's condition was critical, or that he had been in a coma a few days ago. He said he had flown with the Togolese politician to Paris, accompanied also by his personal doctor.
Mr. Homawoo said he had spoken with Mr. Akitani-Bob Friday morning. But Mr. Homawoo described the Togolese politician as tired, but able to talk. He said last month's elections in Togo had taken a toll on him. Neither Mr. Homawoo nor the American hospital would confirm Mr. Akitani-Bob was at the Paris-area center.
Mr. Homawoo described the Togolese politician as alert. He said Mr. Akitani-Bob had asked questions Friday about the status of his medical checkups. Mr. Homawoo said Mr. Akitani-Bob was in Paris for more in-depth medical examinations to find out exactly what ailed him. But Mr. Homawoo said, the opposition leader mostly needed rest and to be in a relaxed environment after the stressful elections.
Head of one of six opposition parties running in the April elections, Mr. Akitani-Bob placed second in the presidential vote, with 38-percent of the vote. Faure Gnassingbe, son of Togo's former longtime president, won the elections that were denounced by opposition candidates as rigged.
Talks hosted by the Nigerian government in Abuja this week failed to resolve the Togolese crisis.