By Yusuf Alli:
There was anxiety in the Presidency at the weekend over the fate of President Umaru Yar’Adua, following the disbandment of the cabinet and plans to raise a new team.
The fear is that Yar’Adua may get well and return to work.
Many have written off the President, but his doctors have not, a source said yesterday.
A Presidency source said: “I think we are set for a major political challenge, going by the anxiety in the power corridors.
“There are hints of a plan by ‘Yar’Adua’s men to ensure that the President returns soon.
“Up till now, the Acting President has not been able to meet with Yar’Adua. So, no one knows his true state of health. There is apprehension that he might spring a surprise.
“Yar’Adua did the same thing in Katsina State. After being away for about six months, he returned dramatically to complete his tenure.
“The government is also weighing the emerging scenarios and how to manage the situation.”
The Yar’Adua camp is said to be jolted by ongoing reconstitution of the cabinet.
“The Yar’Adua camp believes that it is a ploy by the Acting President to force the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to invoke Section 144 and declare Yar’Adua permanently incapacitated.”
A source close to the Yar’Adua camp said the President might meet Senate President David Mark and House Speaker Dimeji Bankole at his residence.
Yar’Adua is said to have been meeting with his close aides, but this could not be confirmed yesterday.
The secrecy surrounding Yar’Adua’s health has persisted, following reports of attempts to remove his Chief Security Officer (CSO) and Aide-de-Camp (ADC).
A top security source said: “It is true that there were moves to recall the two officers but they were resisted because they have been part of the hospitalisation and recovery of the President.
“In fact, the family told the relevant agencies that it would not accept any new ADC and CSO. So, the idea was shelved because it could cause a political crisis.
“I think the family was suspicious that the plot to remove the two was to enable some government officials have access to Yar’Adua.
“And since Yar’Adua is still the President, the security agencies deferred to him on his desire to retain his CSO and ADC.”
The President’s health is on the agenda of the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday in Abuja.
The emergency meeting, it was learnt, is to review events in the polity.
Other issues slated for discussion, according to a source, include the dissolution of the cabinet, the recent security breach in the Niger Delta, the 2011 elections and the review of the 1999 Constitution by the National Assembly.
The PDP will use the avenue to streamline the relationship between the leadership of the party and Acting President Goodluck Jonathan.
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