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Breaking News : Yar'adua's Death Rumour Spreads - Politics - Nairaland

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Breaking News : Yar'adua's Death Rumour Spreads by funso77(m): 4:43pm On Mar 07, 2007
Rumours about the death of Governor Umaru Yar’Adua spread like wildfire throughout Nigeria today. Newsrooms and telephones were abuzz with the rumour, with many callers categorical that the Katsina governor, who is also the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, was dead. But there was no single official confirmation of the report. An Aso Rock source dismissed the story as a wicked fabrication. “I was at the airport early today when the governor left for Germany. He indeed walked into the plane himself”, said the source. But the callers were persistent, from Yenagoa, Jalingo, Abuja and Lagos, confirming that the governor may have died.

Presidential spokeswoman, Mrs Remi Oyo spoke with AFP in Abuja and said: “President Obasanjo spoke from Accra with Governor Yar’Adua in Germany at noon today. And the candidate sounded upbeat. So he is still alive”. Ndu Ughamadu, the special adviser on media to the Yar’Adua campaign said the rumour was malicious. “I spoke with Governor Yar’Adua today on his hospital bed. He is in good health and stable condition. There is no cause for alarm”.

P.M. News learnt however that the ill-health of the PDP standard bearer is critical and that he may need a kidney transplant to solve his renal problem. The governor had publicly admitted that he is battling a kidney problem, whose efficiency rate his doctors had put at 50 per cent. But he had also said that his kidney problem will not be an impediment on his work as president if elected in April. He even challenged doubters to 12 rounds of squash. Sources told P.M News today that PDP chieftains have been summoned to Aso Rock and that meetings were apace to decide a reaction to Yar’Adua’s ill-health.

Fresh concerns about Yar’Adua’s health began yesterday after he failed to show up at a rally he was billed to address in Lagos. His running mate, Governor Goodluck Jonathan, came to the rally late after he waited fruitlessly for his boss in Abuja. The chartered ADC plane brought Goodluck to Lagos alone, without Yar’Adua, with Goodluck even lying to the rally that Yar’Adua could not make it because of flight problems. Unknown to the PDP chiefs however, Yar’Adua reportedly collapsed yesterday in Abuja while preparing to come to Lagos for the launch of the party’s South-West zonal presidential campaign.

P.M.News gathered that he was immediately rushed to the Julius Berger Clinic in Abuja, where he was revived and subsequently flown abroad for further medical examination. In a statement, the PDP National Secretary, Chief Ojo Maduekwe confirmed that Yar’Adua had been flown abroad for medical check up. He did not mention neither the hospital nor the overseas country. According to Maduekwe, “Our candidate in the general elections, His Excellency, Governor Umar Yar’Adua, took time off today from what has generally been a gruelling national campaign schedule for everyone, to present himself for a routine medical check up at a clinic in Abuja.

“In full consultation with his personal physician, a decision was subsequently taken today, that the process of medical investigation could benefit from facilities overseas at this early stage of the campaign. Since more weeks of a challenging campaign still lie ahead,” the PDP scribe stated. But P. M. News learnt that frenzied meetings were held yesterday by top officials in the presidency and the leadership of PDP, led by Senator Ahmadu Ali, over the sudden turn of affairs. The meetings are continuing today. During the meetings, it was learnt that tentative arrangement was arrived at to substitute Yar’Adua with another candidate should his health deteriorate.

Names of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (retd.), Gen. Mohammed Gusau (retd.) and Alhaji Ahmed Muazu, Governor of Bauchi state, were drawn up as possible replacement for Yar’Adua. Highly placed persons and close confidants of the ailing Yar’Adua, however, denied the rumour as at the time of filing this report. In its reaction to the failing health of the PDP presidential candidate, the Action Congress (AC) wished him a speedy recovery. “Action Congress has read with shock and dismay that the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Umar Yar’Adua, collapsed in Abuja on Tuesday and had since been evacuated to Germany in an air ambulance.

“We wish him speedy recovery so that he can rejoin us on the campaign train as we are anxious to engage in robust political debate,” a statement signed by Alhaji Lai Mohammed National Publicity Secretary of AC stated. Speaking extensively with P.M.News this morning on the condition of Yar’Adua, his associate and Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Alhaji Tanimu Yakubu said: “Our candidate woke up feeling weak yesterday as he prepared to travel to Lagos and took himself to his doctor. He had returned from Kano at midnight the previous day after making private visits in the ancient city.

“We were together at the hospital throughout as doctors asked him to stay for observation after noting that all his vital signs were okay. They asked him not to try to prove anything by continuing with the campaign as he needed a complete break to rest after months of continuous cross country. “We all agreed with the doctors who also said it was time he had his routine annual checks. I hope to follow him immediately as soon as I get a Schengen visa.” Meanwhile, the Electoral Act Section 37 (1) empowers the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone election in case of the death of a nominated candidate before the commencement of poll.

In other words, with 50 registered political parties for the 2007 elections, the death of one presidential candidate would compel INEC to shift the presidential election forward to a later date. The law does not state how long the election could be postponed. The section reads: If after the time for the delivery of nomination paper and before the commencement of the poll, a nominated candidate dies, the Chief National Electoral Commissioner or the Resident Electoral Commissioner shall, being satisfied of the fact of the death, countermand the poll in which the deceased candidate was to participate and the Commission shall appoint some other convenient date for the election.”

Reacting to this section, a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Albert Atiworcha, blamed the National Assembly for what he described as grave omission that could be capitalized upon to truncate democracy. “We have just discovered this dangerous section, which could be explored to extend the life of the Obasanjo administration. It is a grave mistake on our part as legislature to create such a loop hole in the electoral act,” he said. To save the situation and to prevent INEC from being used to postpone the 2007 election, Atiworcha said that the particular section of the 2006 Electoral Act would have to be amended.

“The only thing left for us to do is to amend the Electoral Act or else, enemies of democracy will have something to use to ensure that the election does not hold,” he added.

From the www.thenewsng.com 07/03/07
Re: Breaking News : Yar'adua's Death Rumour Spreads by OmoEko1(f): 4:44pm On Mar 07, 2007
old news abeg i need something fresh
Re: Breaking News : Yar'adua's Death Rumour Spreads by betantee(m): 4:46pm On Mar 07, 2007
abeg de man never die.Just heard a close source confirmation.immediately i heard it

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