Ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua failed to appear at the Friday Jumat service in Abuja today, dousing tension in the political and security quarters of the federal capital that he will be ending his four months absence from public space by praying at the National Mosque.
Wide claims that Mr. Yar’Adua will be at the Jumat service caused anxiety among Politicians of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) last night who heard that loyalists of the President planned to bring him to the Friday service today.
A presidency source who wanted to remain anonymous said the plan triggered an urgent security meeting that went into deep hours of the night, the resolution of which was a stern warning to elements of the Yar’Adua inner circle to tread carefully and restrain from plunging the nation into a crisis.
“Ï think a riot act was basically read out to the Yar’Adua team with a cautionary note that they will be held responsible for any security breach in the city and in the country” said the source who refused to read any meaning to the sudden news that the president and his inner team had prepared to appear in public today.
Last night party officials described it as disturbing that the president’s planned re-entry into public life was coming three days before the Senate begins the screening of ministerial nominees on Monday, and a day after the 2010 budget was passed. They also questioned the choice of a religious occasion for Mr. Yar’Adua’s re-emergence in public.
One source said, “if the President would be coming out four months after his absence, it ought not to be at a religious event because that will send the wrong signal.” Mr. Yar’Adua, a Muslim from Kastina State participated in the weekly Jumat service at the National Mosque located at the Central business district in Abuja until his illness kept him from public view.
The ailing President was flown out of the country on the 23rd of November 2009 to Saudi Arabia for a heart condition and has since been out of public view. The issue of Mr. Ya Adua’s appearance became subject of interest last week when two national dailies claimed that plans were afoot for the ailing president to make a public outing this week.
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