Written by Taiwo Adisa:
While the nation continues to grapple with uncertainty over the state of health of ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua, who was sneaked into the country in the early hours of Wednesday , two of his daughters are said to be battling each other over which of their husbands will become the next vice president. It appears as if even the first family had given up on the possibility of the ailing leader returning to office.
His two daughters are said to be at each other’s throat over which of their husbands should become the next vice president in a presidency of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
It was gathered that the fight had become so intense in the last few days.
Loyalists of the ailing president were said to have made representation to the acting President last week, to indicate that if things got to the level that he would be pronounced president, he should consider one of them as the vice president.
A source however, said that the Acting President told the lobbyists that the Peoples Democratic Party would decide the next line of action if such a situation arose.
How oil block grab forced Yar’Adua home
Clear indications emerged last week to confirm the fact that the planned oil block grab by members of the kitchen cabinet forced them to embark on the last ditch option of hurriedly relocating the ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua to the country.
Yar’Adua had been ferried into Nigeria in the wee hours of Wednesday under cloudy circumstances and the man had not been seen or heard by anyone since his alleged return.
Acting president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who visited the first family, accompanied by his wife, Dame Patience could only see Turai, who was said to have told the Acting President that the ailing leader was resting as a result of jet lag.
She also said that her husband was sleeping and had been advised to rest by the doctors.
But Jonathan was said to have informed the First Lady that he would make a return to the President’s wing of the Villa later on Saturday (yesterday) and that the First Lady should help convey the message to her husband.
Details of Yar’Adua’s forced return, according to sources, was shrouded in secrecy and was immediately wrapped up following continued pressure on the Saudi authorities over repeated information that Nigerian delegations were being turned back from seeing their leader at the instance of the Saudi monarch.
Information at the disposal of Sunday Tribune indicated that the Saudi authorities had informed the First Lady that they could no longer guarantee the secrecy that had been woven around the ailing president and that the ministerial team dispatched by the Executive Council of the Federation (EXCOF) would be allowed to see Yar’Adua.
Sources said that immediately the information got to the kitchen cabinet that the ailing President would no longer be protected from the Nigerian delegation, they arrived at the option of moving him to Nigeria.
The option was aimed at serving two purposes: Act as a huge check on the steps of Acting President Jonathan and ensure he continued in office as a surrogate leader.
The main purpose of his forced return, a source said, was to secure a reversal of the cancelation of the oil block allocation by the acting President.
Jonathan had cancelled the planned oil bid round meant to allocate 20 oil blocks two days after his emergence, a move that angered members of the kitchen cabinet.
A source said that the forced return was aimed at forcing Jonathan to permit the bid round, which would have ensured that two ministers, two former governors got one oil block each, while a presidential aide was said to have planned to grab three oil blocks in the bid process.
Family may move him to Katsina, mum insists on seeing son, to offer motherly prayers
It also emerged on Saturday that members of the Yar’Adua family had started mounting pressure on First Lady, Hajia Turai Yar’Adua to relocate the President to his family home in Katsina.
Matriarch of the family, Hajia Dada had insisted that she needed to see her son to offer motherly prayers for him.
It was gathered that members of the family were worried that none of them had access to Yar’Adua since he was relocated to Saudi Arabia.
How life support machines arrived Katsina
Sources said that a contingency arrangement had initially been made for Katsina some weeks ago.
Some members of the kitchen cabinet were said to have facilitated the importation of a container said to have been loaded with life support machines through the Kano airport two weeks ago.
Clearance for the container was said to have generated a furore between the owners and the Customs men on duty. It was gathered that while the customs men insisted that they would open the container, the security men who went to clear the cargo insisted that it must not be inspected.
A source said that the intervention of a retired military chief, an Intelligence officer saved the day for the clearance of the cargo as the General was said to have driven to the airport to ensure the cargo was offloaded without inspection.
The cargo then headed for Katsina and was said to have been deposited at a secret location.
Sources said that the said container carried life support machine equipment, which would be relied upon if Yar’Adua had to make it to Katsina.
Some family members want him returned to Germany
Some other members of the Yar’Adua family including some top Northerners were also said to have advised Turai to shun the lure of power and return her husband for proper treatment in Germany.
She was also said to have agreed with one of the top Northerners that she was not preoccupied with the lure of power and that her husband’s health was crucial to her.
Sources said that the choice would now be made between Katsina and Germany in the next few days,
A source said that Yar’Adua had been wrongly advised to go to Saudi Arabia initially as the country did not feature on the list of countries with experts on his ailment.
The three countries where he could be treated according to a technical team that advised him originally include Israel, Germany and United States. A source said that the president suddenly came up with the choice of Saudi in 2008.
Northern governor votes N20m for special prayers
A governor of one of the North West states, one of the states where some persons were said to have trooped to the streets on Wednesday to celebrate Yar’Adua’s return, was said to have voted the sum of N20 million for special prayers that would assist the ailing president in quick recovery.
It was gathered that the governor had commissioned clerics to fish out no fewer than 1, 700 youngsters from the wards in each of the local governments in the state, who would recite special verses in the Holy Quran to pray for the recovery of the ailing leader.
It was gathered that each of the youngsters would go home with N10, 000, while the clerics were divided into two. One set of clerics were to take N100,000 each while another set of clerics, described as coordinators would go home with N500,000 each for the duration of the prayers.
The governor was said to be of the belief that the ailing president could still be revived through prayers to the Almighty.
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