- Title: NIGERIA: Nigerians react to presidents return from Saudi hospital
- Date: 25th February 2010
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) MONDAY EDEME, NEWSPAPERS SUPPLIER, SAYING: "If you did not cover him coming off the plane, how do I know it is him that returned? Many dignitaries come to this country or even when he goes out, when he steps out the plane press would cover him, in the news you will see him stepping out of the plane, but we are told he came back, we have not yet seen him." GUBURAT ABDULRAHAMAN, FOOD VENDOR PEELING PLANTAIN (SOUNDBITE) (English) GUBURAT ABDULRAHAMAN, SAYING: "I am very very happy for him to come back." BUSY STREETS IN ABUJA LAGOS, NIGERIA ( FEBRUARY 24, 2010) (REUTERS) BUSY STREETS OF LAGOS
- Embargoed: 12th March 2010 12:00
- Location: Nigeria
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Health,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA5LTB2M444E78XU8DKTU42UIH6
- Story Text: Nigerians have reacted to President Umaru Yar'Adua's return to the country during the early Wednesday morning and have terming it suspicious.
In the capita city of Abuja where the President's plane landed under the cover of darkness moments after 3:00 on Wednesday morning, people went about their business as usual.
Many of the city's residents were not aware their President had returned. Several others who read about the return in newspapers said the manner in which he was brought back was suspicious.
Yar'Adua has been on treatment in Saudi Arabia for a heart condition. His prolonged absence almost paralysed Africa's largest oil producer.
Yar'Adua was flown into the country under the cover darkness on Wednesday morning and quietly taken to state house.
Ogbene Emmanuel, a newspaper dealer in Abuja said the president's return should have been made know to the public.
"The president of Nigeria was smuggled into the country, because he came when nobody expected him to be in the country, so everybody was amazed, early this morning...some people do not even believe up until now because they believe that is another gimmick ...a kind of politics. That is politics for you," said Emmanuel.
Monday Udeme another newspaper supplier in Abuja, said they wanted to see in order to believe the president had returned.
"If you did not cover him coming off the plane, how do I know it is him that returned? Many dignitaries come to this country or even when he goes out, when he steps out the plane press would cover him, in the news you will see him stepping out of the plane, but we are told he came back, we have not yet seen him," said Monday Udeme, a newspaper supplier.
Others like Guburat Abdulrahaman said they were glad the President had retuned and hoped he was healthy and hearty.
"I am very very happy for him to come back," said Abdulrahaman.
In the sprawling commercial capital city of Lagos the reaction was the same. Many wanted to be reassured the President was now healthy and ready to lead the country.
Deji Jolaoso, a Lagos based lawyers said middle of the night return was shady and wanted to know about the state of the president's health.
"His arrival was done in secret, it was shady. It was not known to the public. We still do not know the circumstances of his health, so is he still sick? The legislators still have to do a little more about the situation because section 145 of the constitution still has to be amended as far as I am concerned," said Jolaoso.
"We need somebody to assure us, apart from the fact that the President is back, is he okay to rule us? We want somebody to assure us that he's very strong to rule us again," said Yomi Rabiu.
"We don't know the state of his health, we still have doubts on his health, we don't know if he is fit to rule, all the same, we will be happy if he healthy and able to rule. If he is not able to rule, he should allow Goodluck Jonathan to rule Nigeria for the few years he has remaining in power," said businessman Felix Omofuma.
Many Nigerians are concerned Yar'Adua's return may open up a power struggle between his powerful kitchen cabinet and those supporting Vice Goodluck Jonathan at a moment when he beginning to gain support for his presidency.
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