Nigeria wakes up as a nation with a President.
President Yar’Adua sneaked back in to the country in an air ambulance at around 1.46am and believe it or not, no single photograph to confirm this.
And my Questions:
- How true is this story?
- Could Segun Adeniyi, Presidential Spokesman and ex-ThisDay reporter confirm please?
- How soon would he appear live to address Nigerians?No radio broadcast please.
- What happens to Dora Akunyili – Minister for information and communication ?
- How soon would Aondoakaa be promoted?
- How about the 6 Ministers who had travelled to see Yar’Adua in Saudi? or the King?
- When will the cabinet be reshuffled to reflect loyalty?
- Has Goodluck’s luck dried up? What becomes of him?
- Would the President apologise to Nigerians for his abrupt elongated sick leave?
What was the rationale behind switching the airport’s power supply from Grid to Generator? Reassurance of constant power I suppose?
The drama has just begun…
Reports from THISDAY (Paul Ibe and George Oji in Abuja, 02.24.2010) plus my comments in red.
Exactly three months (Nov 23rd 2009 – Feb 24th 2010) after he left Nigeria for medical treatment in Saudi Arabia, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, in a most dramatic twist, returned to the country in the early hours of today.
THISDAY learnt that the President, whose prolonged absence had generated considerable heat in the polity, left Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, at 8.22pm Nigerian time last night and arrived at 1.46am today.
About 30 minutes to his arrival, the source of power supply to the airport was switched from public to generator – (what was all that about?). After the first, small aircraft arrived, another one, a bigger aircraft, landed a few minutes later. Both were unusually parked on the runway – virtually in the bush – instead of the parking area, for a very long time. It was not clear which of the two aircraft carried the President as the entire area was covered in darkness – (more drama. Now comes James Bond, or so it seems).
An ambulance was seen moving towards the two aircraft shortly after the arrival of the second one. A bus also moved in a few minutes later.
At the airport to receive Yar’Adua were Governors Isa Yuguda (Bauchi), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina) and Namadi Sambo (Kaduna) (More of starring actors Yuguda, Shema and Sambo). They had earlier met with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Dimeji Bankole, at his residence in Abuja. (with special guest appearance, Dimeji Bankole who is in on the act.)
Soldiers were deployed on the route from the airport to the Presidential Villa. They all took strategic positions, fully armed. The trucks that conveyed them bore the sign of Brigade of Guards.(What for? To avoid a kidnap? Or assassination attempt? or what?)
THISDAY learnt that all the soldiers, who came in two companies, were asked to drop their phones, thereby rendering them incommunicado.(really?)
Airport staff were also ordered out of the presidential wing as soldiers took over the place. The only thing that could be gleaned from the aircraft was the flashing beacons. (Hehnn!)
At 2.56 am, the ambulance left while a convoy of about eight cars drove towards the aircraft. After 3am, the cars left the airport. They drove at moderate speed on the way to Aso Rock. There were about 16 cars in the convoy that headed for town. (16 cars? Are you sure? Not 20? Or 30?)
The presidential jet eventually moved to park at its usual place at 3.20am while the unmarked smaller aircraft, presumed to be an air ambulance, also parked at 3.25am.
Yar’Adua returned to the country in company with his wife, Turai; his Chief Security Officer, Yusufu Tilde; and Aide-de-Camp, Col. Mustapha Onoedieva.
The President’s return came as a complete surprise as the public had no prior notice or indication to that effect. The six-man ministerial team set up by the Executive Council of the Federation (EXCOF) to pay him a visit only left for Saudi Arabia Monday night.
A source said yesterday that the ministers flew directly to Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, and met with a representative of the King, Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, to “express deep appreciation for the excellent and generous attention the government and people of Saudi have given to the President“.(ohhhhhh? So that was what the trip was for? To thank the King for looking after our President? Do you get it?)
However, before the team could move to Jeddah – about one and a half hours by flight from Riyadh – the President had begun his journey back to Nigeria.(Forget it!Who is fooling who?)
There were unconfirmed reports, however, that Yar’Adua flew in an air ambulance provided by the King of Saudi Arabia.(Who cares how he jetted in? He is here.)
The presidential jet that flew him out of the country on November 23, 2009, was still at the Jeddah International Airport after he left, but it was believed to have taken off shortly after.
The air ambulance had been on standby for the past five days to bring the President back, THISDAY learnt, and airport authorities in Nigeria had been put on alert in the last two days to prepare for his return.
Members of the ministerial team, namely the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed; Minister of Health, Professor Babatunde Osotimehin; Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman; Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Adetokunbo Kayode (SAN); Agriculture Minister, Dr. Abba Ruma; and Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, are expected to return to Nigeria this morning straight from Riyadh. (Mission accomplished, abi)
Nigeria’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Mr. Abdullah Garba Aminchi, had said on Monday that doctors were preventing visitors from having access to Yar’Adua. (No brainer there.)
Aminchi said he himself had visited Yar’Adua on Saturday and that the condition of the president was improving after treatment for a heart ailment.
“I saw him the day before yesterday… He’s really feeling better now,” Aminchi had told AFP.(Hurrah, and let somebody shout Hallelujah!!!!!)
Most news agency are quoting the ThisDay report…even Blomberg as seen below….
Nigerian President Returns From Saudi Arabia, ThisDay Reports
By Vernon Wessels
Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) — Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua returned back to the country after leaving three months ago for medical treatment in Saudi Arabia, This Day said, without citing anyone.
Yar’Adua arrived at 1:46 a.m. local time at an airport in Abuja, where an ambulance was seen moving toward two aircraft parked on the runway, the Lagos-based newspaper said. The ambulance left more than an hour later with a convoy of about 16 cars, which were guarded by soldiers on the route toward the Presidential Villa, it said.
Last Updated: February 23, 2010 23:47 EST
This was how BBC reported the news. Did you notice the inverted commas that accompanies ‘returns home’? Oh you must have! They found the story so outrageous even by Nigeria’s standard that they had to play safe. As there was no recorded voice, this time, they were not so such it could really be him.
Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua ‘returns home’
Ailing Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua has returned home secretly after three months’ medical treatment in Saudi Arabia, reports say.
A plane landed from Jeddah at the presidential wing of Abuja airport in the middle of the night, where an ambulance was waiting on the tarmac. Earlier this month, Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan became acting leader as fears mounted of a power vacuum.
Mr Yar’Adua had been suffering from a heart condition and kidney problems.
There has been no official confirmation of his return, although Reuters news agency quoted an unnamed government source as saying: “He just landed at Abuja airport on a Saudi plane escorted by the presidential plane. He is on his way to the [presidential] villa now.”
His state of health is unclear, and it is not known whether he wants to return to his post. Soldiers were reported to be lining the main road from the airport to the city.
A delegation of Nigerian ministers had travelled to Saudi Arabia on Monday for an update on Mr Yar’Adua’s health.
They had been expected to report back to a weekly cabinet meeting on Wednesday, and reports suggest they arrived back on another plane shortly after that thought to be carrying the ailing leader.
The BBC’s Ahmed Idris in Abuja says the next three or four hours will be crucial, as Nigerians wait to see whether the president himself turns up to the cabinet meeting.
If he does not appear, questions will be asked as to whether Mr Yar’Adua is fit enough to resume his duties.
This was how Reuters reported the Presidential home coming…
Nigerian president returns from Saudi hospital -
Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:09am GMT
“The state of his health is very important for the unfolding political dynamics … It’s almost impossible to keep such information secret now he is back,” said Kayode Akindele, a director at Lagos-based Greengate Strategic Partners.
By Nick Tattersall and Felix Onuah
ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua arrived back in Abuja on Wednesday after three months in a Saudi Arabian hospital, government sources said, renewing uncertainty over the leadership of Africa’s most populous nation.
There was no immediate word on the condition of the 58-year-old leader. It also was unclear if he would be fit enough to resume office or whether Vice President Goodluck Jonathan would remain as acting head of state.
Yar’Adua’s absence brought sub-Saharan Africa’s second biggest economy to the brink of constitutional crisis and threatened to paralyse the business of government, until Jonathan was sworn in as acting leader two weeks ago.
Jonathan has since adopted the mantle of leadership, reshuffling ministers, pledging to tackle chronic power shortages and forge ahead with an amnesty in the oil-producing Niger Delta. Some politicians have said he could win support to run for president in elections due by April next year.
“The news of the president’s arrival is reportedly causing a lot of anxiety in Abuja especially among politicians, many of whom had prepared themselves for a post Yar’Adua era,” Nigerian newspaper NEXT said on its website.
State television said Yar’Adua was back but the presidency spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment. One presidency official said there still was uncertainty about what the president’s return from Saudi Arabia would mean.
Information Minister Dora Akunyili had no immediate comment.
“I heard about it this morning and I am yet to be briefed,” she told Reuters.
CABINET MEETING KEY
Analysts say those close to Yar’Adua were growing concerned about Jonathan’s assertive behaviour after the Senate and House of Representatives recognised him as acting head of state two weeks ago and wanted to bring the president back quickly.
“The Senate resolution was very clear. It says the acting presidency lapses once the president sets foot on the shores of Nigeria,” a government source close to Yar’Adua said.
“We now have a president and a vice president. The president can choose to delegate or carry out his functions directly.”
The cabinet, which has twice passed resolutions that there are no grounds to declare Yar’Adua unfit to govern, is due to hold a weekly meeting later on Wednesday.
Splits have emerged between Yar’Adua loyalists and ministers who feel he should step aside. Any new pronouncements after Wednesday’s meeting could be key to his political fate.
Yar’Adua arrival was shrouded in secrecy.
Two planes arrived at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport in Abuja in the early hours of Wednesday, one of them met by an ambulance which left under a heavy police escort shortly afterwards, a Reuters witness said.
Soldiers lined the main road from the airport to the city, a standard manoeuvre when the president is travelling.
Jonathan could continue as acting president until such time as Yar’Adua’s health recovers and he is fit enough to resume office. Should his condition be so serious as to render him incapable of holding office, he could step aside, allowing Jonathan to be sworn in as leader and name a new deputy.
TREATMENT FOR PERICARDITIS
Yar’Adua has been receiving treatment for pericarditis, an inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart that can restrict normal beating, and also is known to suffer from a chronic kidney condition.
Neither the presidency, the ruling party nor the cabinet have given any details on his health since shortly after he left, fuelling speculation about the gravity of his condition.
The libel suit and Aondoakaa’s letter of Apology as seen below is sure to take another twist with the arrival of our President. Let’s see how long Dora would remain Aondoakaa’s “dear sister”.
And finally, News Agency of Nigeria that ought to have broken the news and be the leading News Agency on this story had “FG approves N19b to reclaim land, shores in Niger Delta” as its main news.
And to Dora versus Aondoakaa
Yar’Adua’s predicted return on Facebook.