Yar'Adua returns to Nigeria quietly

Nigerian President - Yar'Adua

Ailing Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua has returned home secretly after three months’ medical treatment in Saudi Arabia, reports say.

A plane landed from Jeddah at the presidential wing of Abuja airport in the middle of the night, where an ambulance was waiting on the tarmac.

Earlier this month, Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan became acting leader as fears mounted of a power vacuum.

Mr Yar’Adua had been suffering from a heart condition and kidney problems.

There has been no official confirmation of his return, although Reuters news agency quoted an unnamed government source as saying: “He just landed at Abuja airport on a Saudi plane escorted by the presidential plane. He is on his way to the [presidential] villa now.”

His state of health is unclear, and it is not known whether he wants to return to his post.

Soldiers were reported to be lining the main road from the airport to the city.

A delegation of Nigerian ministers had travelled to Saudi Arabia on Monday for an update on Mr Yar’Adua’s health.

They had been expected to report back to a weekly cabinet meeting on Wednesday, and reports suggest they arrived back on another plane shortly after that thought to be carrying the ailing leader.

The BBC’s Ahmed Idris in Abuja says the next three or four hours will be crucial, as Nigerians wait to see whether the president himself turns up to the cabinet meeting.

If he does not appear, questions will be asked as to whether Mr Yar’Adua is fit enough to resume his duties.

Source: BBC

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