President Umaru Yar’Adua is “sound and fit” in hospital in Saudi Arabia, but it is unclear when he will be able to return home, Nigeria’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia said on yesterday.
The president has been absent from Nigeria for more than a month receiving treatment for a heart condition and there have been few updates on his condition available to Nigerians.

“He is recuperating in a royal suite attached to the hospital for VIPs. He is sound and fit, he sits, eats and walks very well. He is recuperating to have enough rest before he goes back to the office,” Abdullah Aminchi, Nigeria’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, told Reuters.

Asked when the president may return to Nigeria, Aminchi said, “it is the doctors who will say when.”

The government is facing pressure from senior lawyers, political analysts and opposition party officials to provide concrete evidence that Yar’Adua is fit enough to govern Africa’s most populous country.

Vice President Goodluck Jonathan has been presiding over cabinet meetings but executive powers have not officially been transferred, leading the Nigerian Bar Association and a prominent human rights lawyer to challenge the legality of decisions made in Yar’Adua’s absence.


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