Nigeria FEC to send a delegation to visit Yar’adua

On the heels of the failure of several high profile delegations to Saudi Arabia to see the ailing Nigeria President, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) headed by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, at the end of its weekly meeting today resolved to send a six-man team to visit for Umaru Yar’Adua who has not been seen since he was evacuated to Saudi Arabia in a medical emergency since November 23 2009.

The visit comes amidst report that President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua is severely brain damaged and suffering from a severe stroke.

Initial reports on the meeting said some members of the Executive Council of the Federation (EXCOF) will re-open the issue of the failing health of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. The ministers are angling to declare Yar’Adua incapacitated in line with Section 144 of the 1999 Constitution.

But that was not to be as the meeting was forced by Pro-Yar’adua Ministers to adopt a weak and watered resolution that would enable the team visit Jeddah to ascertain Yar’adua’s condition and report back to the full FEC. 

After the FEC session the Minister of Information and Communications provided little clarifications but sources said the resolution came after a heated debate.

Already five members of the House of Representatives who went to Saudi Arabia last week had returned to Abuja, mission unaccomplished. The team saw only the First Lady, Turai.

Also the delegation of governors that left Nigeria for Saudi Arabia last Wednesday came back to Nigeria, having failed to meet with Yar’Adua.

Similarly, a top-level People’s Democratic Party (PDP) delegation led by its chairman, Vincent Ogbulafor, and included Dr Haliru Bello Mohammed, Deputy National Chairman; and Alhaji Kawu Baraje, Deputy National Secretary arrived in the kingdom has also failed to meet with Yar’Adua.

Asked about the Deputy National Chairman of PDP, Bello Haliru Mohammed comically said: “We saw the wife, the doctor and we are very happy with what we heard. They even drank kunu together. We are very sure that President Yar’Adua will return home as soon as the doctor has finished attending to him, he is very fine and we are happy.” 

The inability of the delegations of the PDP, Governors and the House of Representatives delegation to see Yar’Adua appears to confirm the terrible state of his health.

The delegation sanctioned by the FEC will be led by Yar’Adua’s crony, Abba Sayyad Ruma, who is the Minister of Agriculture; Rilwan Lukman, Minister of Petroleum Resources;Professor Babatunde Osotimehin, Minister of Health; Adetokunbo Kayode, Attorney General and Minister of Justice; Ojo Madueke, the Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Ahmed Yayale, the Secretary to the Federal Government.

An after-session briefing by Dora Akunyili, the Minister of Information described the FEC as being the “closest” institution to Yar’Adua, which should be able to visit him in person.