By Emeka Mamah:
* Yar’Adua shook hands with us
* He was incoherent
* Sat side-by-side with Turai
* May resume soon
The Chief Imam of the National Mosque in Abuja, Ustaz Musa Mohammed has said that President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua could not speak coherently when he led two other Islamic clerics on a visit to the President at the Presidential Villa in Abuja weekend.
Ustaz Mohammed however expressed optimism that Yar’Adua may resume duties soon, as “he has improved remarkably.”
He spoke on the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) monitored in Kaduna.
According to him, although they did not sit close to the President, they prayed for him and he lifted his hands while joining them to say Amen.
The Chief Imam who said the President was dressed in jumpers and a cap to match explained that he was on the visit along with Dr. Datti Ibraim Ahmed, President of the Supreme Council of Sharia in Nigeria and one Sheik Musa Pantami.
He said that they had sought permission from the First family to see the ailing President.
“We met him sitting down with his wife while his ADC stood behind him. Although we could not hear what he said, from where we sat we could see his mouth saying Amen together with us when we prayed for him.
“In fact contrary to rumours that he was seriously ill, we saw that he had improved tremendously and we believe he could be able to resume work any moment from now.
“When we were ushered in, we met the President and his wife seated side by side while his ADC standing, to his left side.
“He shook hands with each one of us beginning with Ibrahim Datti Ahmed, then myself and the other.
“We then proceeded to the prayer session where we all rose up our hands and prayed with the President. After, he shook hands with us again and we left at exactly 6:13 pm.
“We were all happy with the situation we met the President because he has gained enough strength that would enable him to resume work,” he said.
When the BBC asked Ustaz Mohammed why they did not try to talk to the President, he said they were not politicians and that as Islamic clerics; they were there to pray for him and to see with their eyes the President whose state of health had generated so much controversy in recent times.
It was reported by a national daily Friday that Yar’Adua, who has not been seen in public since taking ill in November last year, met with close friends, associates and clerics on Tuesday night and also Thursday evening at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to the reports, on Tuesday, he met with his businessman friend, Alhaji Dahiru Manga, a member of the House of Representatives representing the Faskari Constituency, Inuwa Shehu Imam; and Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State, who is his son-in-law.
On Friday, he met with four Islamic clerics – the Chief Imam of the Abuja National Mosque Ustaz Musa Mohammed; leader of the Izala Muslim sect in Katsina State, Sheik Yakubu Musa; Sheik Isa Pantami; and the President of the Supreme Council of Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN), Sheik Ibrahim Datti Ahmed.
It was said that a family source said it would still take “a few more weeks” for the president to be “fully ready”.
“For now,” the source said, “he will only meet with friends and associates as he recuperates from his illness. He has decided not to meet with any state official in an official capacity for now. When he finally decides to do so, he will start with the leadership of the National Assembly.”
The source said he was confident the president would be back to his seat “possibly next month”.
It was also not clear when the president will meet with Acting President Goodluck Jonathan who has been holding fort since Yar’Adua took ill.
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