Against the backdrop of several speculations surrounding the actual state of health of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, his cousin, Zubaru Ali, has been quoted by Al-jazeera television station as saying the President is able to walk, talk and eat.
The Doha, Qatar-based television station said it travelled to Katsina State to track down members of Yar’Adua’s family in an effort to find out the true state of health of the ailing head of state.
Ali said he was given permission to meet with the ailing president because he is his first cousin and family spokesperson.
He added that Yar’Adua thanked them for their prayers.
The President has been back in Nigeria for seven days after spending more than three months receiving medical treatment at a Saudi Arabian hospital.
However, he has not been seen or heard in public since his return on February 24, fuelling speculation that he is incapable of carrying out his job.
His silence has led to reports that he is on a life support machine.
There is also speculation that the president’s aides and first family are holding him hostage in the presidential villa until they can figure out how to retain influence and power in the event of his exit.
Yar’Adua left Nigeria on November 23, 2009 to receive treatment for pericarditis, an inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart.
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