AFTER 92 days away from his seat, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua sprung a surprise and arrived Abuja early this morning. He had spent the last three months seeking medical treatment in Saudi Arabia and causing a constitutional crisis at home. He arrived in an air ambulance at about 2.00 a.m and drove in a long convoy to the State House, Aso Rock.
Soldiers and other securitymen drove away newsmen who had mounted vigil at the airport and along the route.
Yar’Adua had left Jeddah airport in the evening of Tuesday in an air ambulance with doctors while another plane carried his family members.
A delegation of Nigerian ministers went to Saudi Arabia on Monday reportedly for more news on the president’s health and had been expected to report back to the Federal Executive Council meeting today.
There was no information on the state of the president’s health yesterday. No details have been given on his condition since he left Nigeria in late November to receive medical treatment for pericarditis, an inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart that can restrict normal beating.
Yar’Adua’s long absence created a constitutional crisis and prompted protests by Nigerians with some demanding his resignation, especially since he failed to fulfill the constitutional requirement of transmitting a letter to the National Assembly informing it of his absence and empowering his vice president to act in his stead.
The situation threatened to paralyse the government until the National Assembly installed Vice President, as acting president on February 9.
Signs that the President was coming home became obvious in Abuja yesterday as security surveillance was increased at the airport.
Some governors who were in the capital for one event or the other, especially the Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference changed their itinerary by staying back in the capital city instead of returning to their states. A few actually called on their colleagues who were not in Abuja to come over to the federal capital.
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