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Nigeria's sickly leader, Umaru Yar'adua, to be flown out for medical treatment

By Felix Onuah

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua will travel to Saudi Arabia on Monday for medical checks, his office said.

"President Umaru Yar'Adua will leave Abuja today for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. While there, the president will call on his personal physicians in Jeddah for follow-up medical checks," presidency spokesman Olusegun Adeniyi said in a statement.

Yar'Adua has travelled to Saudi Arabia in the past for treatment for a chronic kidney problem, raising questions about whether he will be fit enough to stand for a second term in 2011 elections.

Adeniyi said Yar'Adua had forwarded copies of the 2010 budget, which he had been due to present to parliament last week, to the heads of the Senate and House of Representatives.

The presentation of the spending plans for sub-Saharan Africa's second-biggest economy was postponed because of a row between the two chambers of parliament over which one should host the event.

Government sources have said Yar'Adua will seek approval to breach a 3 percent deficit target for the second year in a row in 2010, due to the cost of development projects in the Niger Delta and rehabilitating the country's ailing power sector.

Yar'Adua has had regular medical treatment in Germany and Saudi Arabia and his health was a source of concern even before he assumed the presidency.

He has not yet confirmed whether he plans to stand again in presidential election in 2011 but key figures in the ruling party have pledged their support if he decides to do so.

FROM Saharareporters

It was gathered that sickly Nigerian ruler, Umaru Yar’adua, is due to be flown out today or early tomorrow for what our source described as “urgent medical treatment.”

As at the time we were briefed, the source said insiders close to Yar'adua said the sick former governor of Katsina would be taken to a hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Our source said that Yar’adua’s father-in-law is also in an Egyptian hospital. “The president’s medical trip is scheduled to last at least one week,” said the source, adding that Yar'adua “may offer the excuse that he would be visiting his father-in-law in Egypt and that his wife would attend this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia as the excuse for the trip.”

Mr. Yar’adua suffers from Churg Strauss syndrome, a degenerative disease. Our source said Yar’adua’s health dipped in the last three weeks. Poor health explained his conspicuous absence at the Abuja stadium during the final game of the FIFA Under-17 football game that featured Nigeria and Switzerland. “Vice President” Goodluck Jonathan stood in for him.

Saharareporters sources also said Yar’adua had only managed to meet with cabinet members at his official residence in Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

“His health took a turn for the worse over the weekend,” said one source. “His doctors have advised that he undertake immediate medical treatment outside Nigeria,” the source added. Yar'adua maintains a retinue of expatriate medical personnel at his residence and office. He travels with two well-equipped ambulances everywhere he goes in Nigeria. 

Another source Yar’adua’s inability to present the annual budget last week at the National Assembly was actually due to his illness. “The so-called ‘crisis’ between the two chambers of the National Assembly was contrived to cover up Yar'adua's illness,” said the source.
In an intriguing move, Yar’adua’s People's Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday issued a stunning press release to denounce those campaigning for Yar'adua's second term in office. The party said it has not made such decision.

Meanwhile, several sources have told Saharareporters that some PDP crooks, including rogue Attorney General Michael Aondoakaa and former Delta State governor James Ibori, have been assuring Yar’adua’s wife, Turai, that they are capable of arranging for her to serve out the remainder of her husband’s tenure should Mr. Yar’adua die or become permanently incapacitate

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Comment by jennifer on December 1, 2009 at 5:14pm
May God help him but i think is high time he resign and take proper care of his health cos a sick President can not do anything for his people as he will not be capable to manager a nation. Because of this every thing about our country has been sick since he assume office. please let him go in peace.
Comment by Alimson Adekunle Adams on November 27, 2009 at 1:03am
May God help him, the man mean well for Nigeria.
Comment by chizindu king on November 25, 2009 at 10:39am
every one shud pray 4 him pls
Comment by Mandy Nezi on November 24, 2009 at 4:54pm
If this country is good enough would he be travelling all the time to another mans country for proper medication?We don't have good medical centers what a shame.what more can we say if not to wish him quick recovery. Get well soon.
Comment by 1man on November 24, 2009 at 2:22pm
If no action is taken on this issue, Mark it on the calendar that one day Nigerian will be accused of the only country that is ruled by Sick President, I mean why not look for someone who is healthy enough to rule Nigeria healthily.

I'm beginning to suspect Obasanjo on this Issue, because from the first time Yar'adua was elected, you can see that he is already sick and Obasanjo just wanted to take the opportunity to re-rule his seat that is why he insisted and pushed Yar'adua to the presidency, I mean this is becoming crazy in our politics. and if accurate care is not taken about this issues, May be like play - like play you might here that we lost Yar'adua or so. May God help him out of this sick issue because no one knows if he is even a sickler
Comment by Moses K Tawose on November 24, 2009 at 1:03pm
We're all human and at one time or the other we're bound to be sick which means it can be anybody cum the retinue of being shoulder with a big responsibility - The President of the most populous country in Africa. All he needs from us is our prayer regardless of our fate to keep praying for our leaders - wisdom, knowledge and understanding in discharging the duty giving to them fearlessly.
We mustn't keep compounding it berating him or castigating every move he made. The problem of Nigeria has been there before he became the President and we shouldn't expect it to go away in one day or overnight. Please give our President A Break..................!!!
Comment by Williams .E. jean on November 24, 2009 at 1:03pm
I will say let him die than to travell all the time,when ever he wants to take our money out he will say he is sick,has that man ever pass his budget while he is in Nigeria? always outside the country.
What a shame.
Comment by ola oke-Akinsola on November 24, 2009 at 12:47pm
i see no reason why this man should continue to rule, when it is so obvious that the ability is not there. my advice is that he should resign and go take proper care of himself.
Comment by Oladipupo on November 24, 2009 at 12:18pm
God help us oh !!!
Comment by Joke on November 24, 2009 at 11:19am
You are heal in Jesus Name....




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