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FEC opts for video confab with Yar’Adua

By Luka Binniyat & Demola Akinyemi
ABUJA—The Federal Executive Council, FEC, is considering holding a video conference with hospitalised President Umaru Yar’Adua as a means of assuring Nigerians that he was recuperating, to confirm the claim of his officials.

Vanguard also gathered authoritatively that the issue will be tabled before FEC tomorrow as virtually all its members are anxious about the condition of their boss who has been under-going treatment for cardiac and renal problems in Saudi  Arabia for the past 22 days.


Meanwhile, the Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili, assured yesterday that the President will come back to the country fully recovered, stressing, however, that only his doctors can confirm when he will return.

Akunyili reassures Nigerians

The minister, who spoke with newsmen at Idofian, Kwara State, shortly after the official inauguration of Harmony 103.5 FM, said: “I can confirm to you that the President is still at the Saudi hospital, responding to treatment. His doctors will determine when he will come back. We are praying for him and, by the grace of God he will come back to Nigeria fully recovered.”

The former National Legal Adviser of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, Mr Mark Jacob, however, told Vanguard, yesterday, that,  “if the President could address the nation through video conferencing, he could as well return home. For how long can they hide the problem?” He asked.

According to Vanguard sources, even some of the President’s most ardent supporters are at a loss as to the true health status of the President, and would want to know if they should keep their loyalty or realign with clandestine powers angling to position themselves in strategic places should the President’s health deteriorates.

“The confusion in the land makes it very imperative for the President to address us, even if it is his cabinet via video conferencing,” said a powerful former minister in the late General Sani Abacha government, who said he does not want his name mentioned for now.

Nigerians react

“We cannot allow this power vacuum to persist like this. It is natural for a man to fall ill but Nigerians want to hear and possibly see their President as he is recuperating and, if that is not done, that would mean that all we are being fed with by his family and officials are lies,” he said.

PDP in frantic moves

Members of the PDP are said to be making frantic arrangement to get the President to speak.

“The PDP is uncomfortable with the internal struggle within the party which is getting more desperate with each passing day that the President is absent”, said a PDP source.

According to the source, “once President Yar’Adua could on his own make a speech, no matter how weak his voice would sound, the mad speculation going on in the party would greatly reduce. And, it is based on that that FEC would tomorrow want to find out if the President could address them, at least to relax the tension that has gripped them”.

According to the source, the ministers want to see their President to help them reach conclusions that would drive their expectations in the near future.

“They are largely interested on what their fate would be like if he does return, and even if he does not,” said our source.

However, the former PDP legal adviser said there was no need for that.

“If our president could be well enough to pose and speak via video conferencing, then he is as fit and as good as coming home”, he said.

“The truth is that his true situation cannot be hidden for too long. It is not about appearing on TV and making a statement. If the man is not well enough to govern this country, it won’t be long for the truth to become obvious,” he said

According to him, “Whether video conference or radio conferencing the truth would soon be made public. I pray he gets well, but if he does not, Nigeria is too big a country to have a leader who cannot administer and discharge his constitutional responsibilities.

No one can keep the country in suspense for long. Whatever goes up would surely come down”.


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