'Yar'Adua Not Seriously Ill'

By Daily Graphic
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Nigerian officials have denied rumours that President Umaru Yar'Adua is seriously ill, after he flew to Saudi Arabia last Monday for medical treatment.

Abdullahi Garba Aminci, the ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said the President was recovering in hospital.

Mr Yar'Adua, who suffers from a chronic kidney condition, has been unable to perform a number of official duties because of recurring health problems.

He reportedly intends to make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca this week.

Mr Aminci told Nigeria's Daily Trust newspaper, 'He is getting better, and he is having some rest'.

Analysts say his continued ill-health poses a problem for Nigeria's constitution.

If he were to step down or die, he would be replaced by Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan, who is from the country's southern Niger Delta region.

But according to the ruling People's Democratic Party's own formula for sharing power among the country's regions, the President must be a northerner.

President Yar'Adua has suffered from a condition affecting his kidneys for at least 10 years.

In the past three years, he has twice been flown to Germany for emergency treatment and it is the second time he has visited hospitals in Saudi Arabia.

He has refused to say exactly what condition he suffers from, and has repeatedly said in interviews that his life is 'in the hands of God'. —BBC Share Your Thoughts on this article Name Email Location Comments Graphic Ghana may edit your comments and not all comments will be published