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Opposition Politicians Plan Summit Over Yar'adua's Absence by AmakaOne(f): 11:32am On Jan 05, 2010
This day
5 January 2010

http://allafrica.com/stories/201001050031.html

Chuks Okocha


Abuja — Opposition politicians under the umbrella of Mega Political Party Summit and National Democratic Movement (NDM) will soon meet over the continued absence of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua from the country.

President Yar'Adua left Nigeria for medical treatment at the King Faisal Hospital and Research Centre in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 43 days ago.

The planned summit is coming as governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will converge on Abuja today to deliberate on the state of the nation and the ongoing electoral reform.

According to their Chairman, Dr. Bukola Saraki, the meeting would deliberate on some national issues, including the Anambra State governorship election slated for February 6, while its members would also be briefed by the National Chairman of the party, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor.

Head of Secretariat of the Mega Summit Movement, Wale Okunniya, while speaking to THISDAY said: "Like the political summit in 1994 by politicians where a position was taken against the military government of General Sani Abacha. This time around, we are planning to organise such a political summit so that a position is taken, because if we continue to keep silent, the PDP will do nothing. The country is grounding to a halt; nothing seems to be working. So the political summit is to enable politicians take a position on the situation at hand. Invitations are being sent out."

Also yesterday, the Action Congress (AC) tasked the PDP and the Presidency to provide concrete evidence that the condition of President Yar'Adua is indeed improving as claimed by some of his aides.

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said such evidence could be in form of a dated video recording of the President sitting or standing in his hospital room in Saudi Arabia.

It said the President could also use the opportunity to assure Nigerians that he is indeed recovering from his illness and that he was actually capable of signing the 2009 Supplementary Budget that he was said to have signed last week.

On the potency of such video evidence, the party recalled that when former Cuban President Fidel Castro was recovering from the illness that eventually ended his long presidency, he appeared in a video to show he was still alive, contrary to rumours making the rounds at the time, adding that the video appearance ended the rumours.

"It is necessary for President Yar'Adua, if indeed he is recovering as Nigerians have been praying he does, to move fast to reassure his compatriots that the rumours surrounding his ill-health are unfounded. Daily, we are bombarded with scary rumours of the President's health continuing to deteriorate in Saudi Arabia, even as his aides assure us that he is indeed recovering.

"Since the President left these shores over 40 days ago, we do not know who has really seen him or who has not. Information on the state of health of the President should not be left in the hands of unscrupulous spin doctors, the Aondoakaas and the PDP's of this world, who have been muddling the waters just to serve their own selfish purposes," AC said.

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