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Yar’Adua: Saudi king grants use of air ambulance

Saudi Arabian monarch, Sheik Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz

By Emmanuel Aziken
ABUJA —THE plot to ferry ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua back to the country may have been concluded as the consent of the Saudi Arabian monarch, Sheik Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz has been secured for the use of the king’s air ambulance suitable for the nearly six-hour trip back home.

Saudi Arabian sources told Vanguard, yesterday, that although the exact date for the ‘surprise package’ being planned for Nigerians and the international community is still shrouded in secrecy, “the main thing left is preparing the man for the journey.”

Meantime, senators have commenced a waiting game for President Yar’Adua to transmit a letter of his medical vacation to the National Assembly that will signify the enthronement of his deputy as Acting President.

As at press time, no such letter had been transmitted and Presidency officials were unavailable for comments on prospects of such a letter.

Senate President, Senator David Mark alongside his principal officers who are also waiting for such a letter were, last night, scheduled for a meeting ahead of today’s session. Nothing surprising is, however, expected at today’s sitting with many senators willing to wait for another week for the President to digest the import of their bold resolution on the issue adopted last Wednesday.

The senators are, however, urging the President and his minders to transmit the letter to save the nation from further constitutional dilemma. Last Wednesday, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution, urging the President to transmit a letter of his medical vacation to the National Assembly in accordance with section 145 of the constitution.

Though no deadline was given in the resolution, its prime movers comprising the Nigeria Interest Group, NIG, in the Senate say they would wait for two weeks for the President to heed the non binding resolution before taking further action.

Though the NIG members had in the past said that impeachment was not on the cards for them, Vanguard gathered that the dithering procrastination on the part of the President is hardening the minds of some senators in the NIG.

The NIG mustered 80 signatures ahead of the Senate closed door session of last Wednesday’s debate leading to the adoption of the resolution. A principal officer of the Senate told Vanguard,  ahead of the principal officers’ meeting last night: “There is nothing we can do, we have to wait for the letter and hope he transmits it.”

Other senators were, however, calling on the President and his minders to transmit the letter to the National Assembly to help douse the tension they say is enveloping the polity. “The best thing for the President to do is to transmit the letter and save us from this mess,” the senator, speaking on the condition of anonymity told Vanguard yesterday.


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