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My battle with ill-health – Yar’Adua

Posted by By OUR REPORTERS on 2008/06/02 | Views: 994 |

My battle with ill-health – Yar’Adua


President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua last night took the wind out of the sail on the raging controversy over his health status.

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua last night took the wind out of the sail on the raging controversy over his health status.

In a two-hour live presidential media chat to commemorate Democracy Day, the president explained how he had been managing his ill-health, dismissing widespread fears that he was medically unfit.

Yar’Adua had a question thrown at him by one of the interviewers, who said one of the reservations Nigerians had about the seeming inactivity in governance was the ill-health of the president.

Responding to the question, President Yar’Adua regretted that the issue of his health had been politicized. He then opened up on his health condition, explaining that what took him to Germany last month was reactions from a drug earlier given to him by his doctors for the treatment of malaria.

Said he: “I had a reaction to a drug which was the case. I had malaria, I took Metakelfin, it did not go, I got my doctor who brought another doctor from JB Clinic and they gave me a new drug, the malaria went, but the following day, I woke up with a swollen face.

“So they gave me what they called term steroid, it did not work and I went to the National Hospital where they ran test and they decided that I go to my doctors in Germany. I have my record there since 1986. In 2000 I had kidney problem. My record is there. I got there and in three days my face became normal.

“So you see, the press statement by my Special Adviser (Communications) was not believed, same thing the other time, when I was campaigning then during my campaign they ran an x-ray and the doctors said my aorta was inflated and they termed it critical, because they said it can burst anytime. That was how I was referred to the hospital in Germany and they brought an air ambulance because they wanted a doctor to be with me.

“When I got there, they prepared the theatre for a major operation, but they decided to run another test and shortly after the result was out and they said my aorta was normal.
“It is amusing because you can have a medical problem anytime. I am an ordinary person and I am as ordinary as any other Nigerian. I can fall sick, I can get well, I can die, I can die tomorrow, I can live to be 90, I am pleased to be president, but I am an ordinary person.”

Speaking on former President Olusegun Obasanjo, President Yar’Adua gave him kudos saying his predecessor did his best to put Nigeria back on track.

According to him, Obasanjo met the country on the verge of collapse and he did his best in eight years to put the country on track, admitting that there might be excesses in the process of putting things right.
The probe of some activities of Obasanjo’s administration by the National Assembly, Yar’Adua said, was within the lawmakers’ constitutional power, adding that he could not envisage any outcome of the exercise. “I am also waiting for the outcome of their activities as any other person is waiting for it.”
The president spoke extensively on the plans by his administration to rescue the nation from the doldrums and restore hope in the citizenry.

According to him, lack of respect for law and order was one of the greatest national problems, pointing out that his administration had set out to guarantee entrenchment of the rule of law as well as ensure political stability with the on-going electoral reforms.

The president who also identified the lack of planning as a critical problem in the nation’s development efforts said tackling the problem would set the tone for development in the various sectors of the economy, including electricity, petroleum and gas, iron and steel and cement. According to him, those sectors would drive all other sectors of the economy.

On why he had not declared national emergency in the power sector as promised, Yar’Adua said, “To declare it one must have a clean focus on what should be done. There should be emergency legislation to govern the period of emergency. When I said so, I had in mind that by the time I declare it, the nation will know exactly what it entails, the objectives, the guidelines and how it is going to be financed.”
According to him, when declared, the power sector emergency would last till the time the government was able to produce 10,000mw of electricity and to have a transmission that would be able to generate and distribute the electricity. “That will take us to about 2011. We hope that by the end of 2009, we’ll have 6,000mw and distribution and transmission system with enough integrity to distribute the electricity generated. By 2011 the emergency period would have been over.”

He listed the elements of the power emergency to include national effort at financing the emergency. “The nation has to agree to dedicate a certain percentage of the Federation Account to fund the power sector. The other alternative is for the Federal, state and local governments to dedicate part of the excess crude account for the power sector during the emergency period. The other aspect of the emergency is the need for emergency laws to try offenders who vandalise transmission lines and those who fail to pay tariffs, etc.”

On funding of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the president said that the Federal Government had done its best to ensure adequate funding of the commission, though the issue of security in the region had been a stumbling block.

His words: “As regards funding to NDDC, the government has done its best. There is Federal Government intervention in oil producing areas. There is issue of security which is affecting our projections. The Office of the Vice President is looking after this aspect. The initiative to dialogue with the militants is bearing some fruits.”

He said the agitations of people of the Niger Delta would be dealt with during the national summit on the Niger Delta. While admitting that some of the issues would need constitutional amendment to deal with, he condemned the activities of the militants as criminal.
On the attack on Nigerians in South Africa, the president said retaliation was out of it, saying the problem should be resolved through dialogue.

According to him, Nigeria must provide leadership towards integration of the sub-regions within the African continent just as he assured that what were supposed to be done were being done to resolve the problem.

While hinting of a Federal cabinet reshuffle, Yar’Adua urged Nigerians to look forward to an exciting time in the next one year when the plans his administration had made in the last 12 months began to yield fruits.

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.