By Sule Lazarus, Abuja & Isa Umar Gusau:
The hazy public knowledge on the exact state of the bedridden president, Umaru Yar’adua, would have to linger till God-knows-when as the no access order on the president is strictly being enforced by the Saudi Arabian authorities under the close supervision of the kingdom’s king, Abdallah.
Sunday Trust gathered on good authority that even the president’s chief physician, Dr Salisu Banye, the first lady, Turai now have restricted access to the ailing Nigerian president because of the new ban regime imposed and enforced by the Saudi authorities.
Only last week, the seven-man delegation sent by the House of Representatives to see the president returned to the country without having a glimpse of him. The delegation from the House are: Baba Shehu Agaie, leader of the delegation, Mohammed Ali Ndume, Patrick Ikhariale, Maruf Fatai, Jibril Adamu and Nnenna Ukeje who did not make the trip.
One of the delegates, Hon Mohammed Ali Ndume told Sunday Trust that contrary to insinuations that Turai barred people from accessing the president, it is the Saudi king who imposed the order and is enforcing it to save the president from ‘contact infection’, a new ailment that hit the president after he came out of the intensive care unit of the Jeddah hospital.
According to him, having waited for three days without seeing the president, the delegate sought to see the doctor attending to the president or the president’s personal physician, Dr Salisu Banye.
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He said, “we met the Chief Physician of the President, Dr Banye, with the Nigerian Ambassador Aminchi. So, we had a meeting that day (Wednesday). It was then that he (Banye) informed us that actually, what happened was that when the president came and he was taken into Intensive Care Unit (ICU), after his medical attention and he was recovering, he was transferred to a ward where he had access to people. Unfortunately, because of the frequent contact with people, he had what they called a “contact infection”, which is an infection as a result of contact between him and the visitors. And he had a bad experience of relapse. In fact, they said the relapse was life threatening.”
The lawmaker said Banye told the delegates that when the news of Yar’adua’s new case got to King Abdallah, he came up with the new access regime that restricted everybody from seeing the president, including his wife, Turai and his private physician Banye.
Ndume recounted that, “So the doctor (Banye) said that when he (Yar’adua) had that experience, the information got to King Abdallah himself, and he (the King) now detailed his own personal physician from Riyadh to come and take over; and that if he gets out of the relapse situation, nobody should see him. That was where the problem started. He gave that instruction and since then, not everybody has unfettered access to him, not even his wife.”
It would be recalled that the delegate were billed to submit their report last week, but it was not clear at the time of this report whether the delegates submitted their report.
Turn to pages 14, 15 for full story.
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