â€¢Why Clerics visited Yar’Adua
By Chioma GABRIEL,Â Uduma KALUÂ &Â Â Ben Agande
Contrary to claims byÂ some clerics who visited ailing President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua last week that the President is recovering and will soon return to his post, Africaâ€™s finest heart surgeon, Professor Martin Anthony Aghaji, has explained why President Yarâ€™Adua recoveryÂ fromÂ his illness is very slow. He also gives an insight into why the former Kano state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Rimi died.
Chief Physician to the President, Dr. Salisu Banye, in a terse statement last November 26, said Yarâ€™Adua was suffering from acute pericarditis, an inflammatory condition ofÂ the covering of the heart, allaying fears over the 58-year-old Presidentâ€™s health condition, saying that he was responding â€œremarkably wellâ€ at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Though the ailment is a common disease and is treatable in Nigeria, Aghaji,Â who reeled his pericarditis surgery notes to Saturday Vanguard, said the Presidentâ€™s slow recovery could be due to his kidney problem.
â€œOne ofÂ the problems ofÂ kidney disease is that it can cause pericarditis and when it happens that way, it is not straight forward to treat because you need to get the kidney right. If you donâ€™t get the kidney problem corrected, it can be difficult to treat the heart condition. You must get the kidney problem corrected so as to treat the heart.â€
Meanwhile, following the uproar generated by the visit of some religious leaders to the ailing president, Saturday Vanguard has gathered why the family allowed the clerics to visit him.
A source in the villa who informed Saturday Vanguard said the essence of the visit was to expand the sympathy base for the ailing president so that the contemplation of some political groups for the president to be declared unfit would be defeated.
The source maintained that before the inauguration of the present cabinet, there were fears among the Yarâ€™Adua family that the dissolution of the cabinet was to pave the way for more amenable persons who will ensure that the president is declared medically unfit to continue in office.
The source said, â€œSome of his friends do not like this idea hence the need to bring in religious people to whip up sentiments. Whether that aim is being achieved is another storyâ€ Saturday Vanguard gathered that more of such visits are being planned by the Yarâ€™Adua family to whip up sentiments and stop any move to declare him unfit or plannedÂ impeachment.
Some of these groups being considered according to Saturday Vanguard sources are members of the Arewa Consultative Forum, the Northern Union members of the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo.
â€œAs was the case with the visit of the Christian and Muslim leaders, those to visit the president from the above group would be carefully selected to ensure that they are credible and not flippant people. It is not necessarily to return the president back to office but to ensure hat he is not disgraced out of office as some hawks in the Jonathan cabinet want it to beâ€ the source told Saturday Vanguard.
Recently, religious leaders visited the ailing president Yarâ€™Adu at the presidential palace where they were said to have prayed with him at different times.
The Muslim cleric group was led by the Chief Imam of Abuja mosque who said the presidentâ€™s health was not as bad as being portrayed by the media, adding that the president did not speak with any of them but raised his hands to join them in prayers.
The four Christian leaders on the other hand were, National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria and the Arch Bishop of the Abuja Catholic Diocese, Bishop John Onayekan, Bishop David Oyedepo of the Winners Chapel, Professor Obaje, former Chaplain of the Aso Rock Chapel and a Kaduna-based Clergy, Emmanuel Kure who also prayed with him.