John Abayomi, Deputy Online Editor, with agency reports
50 days, after leaving Nigeria for medical treatment in Saudi Arabia with rumoured death in a section of the media, President Umar Musa Yar’Adua has spoken at last!

In an interview with the BBC, the first since he was whisked to King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on November 23, President Umar Yar’Adua said he is recovering and will soon resume at his desk .

The telephone interview with the BBC today coincides with the mass protest lead by Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, former Governor of old Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, the Ikemba of Nnewi, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu and pastor of Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare in Abuja.

In the recorded interview, Yar’Adua said he was making a good recovery.

“At the moment I am undergoing treatment, and I’m getting better from the treatment. I hope that very soon there will be tremendous progress, which will allow me to get back home,” he said.
“I wish, at this stage, to thank all Nigerians for their prayers for my good health, and for their prayers for the nation.”

Earlier, the Presidency reacting to the widespread speculations of the death of the ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua, yesterday, urged Nigerians to discountenance the story which it described as not only false, but also a figment of the writers’ imagination.

According to Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, Presidential spokesman, who spoke from Angola, where he is participating in the ongoing CAF Nations Cup, said the public should discountenance the story, insisting that the president was not only alive, but very much conscious and getting better.

He told the State House correspondents from Angola where he had gone for the opening ceremonies of the African Cup of Nations: “The speculations are false.

The president is alive and actually getting better. He is very much conscious, can talk and has been talking, including making phone calls to some people back home.”

Adeniyi said he travelled to Angola with President Yar’Adua’s permission as a member of the Presidential Committee, adding, “so, I am here officially but I am coming back home hopefully tomorrow because he has so directed.”

The country was, yesterday, again for the second time in about 50 days, awakened by the news of the president’s death following a report to that effect published on the online edition of one American Chronicle, with concerned Nigerians making enquiries as to its veracity.

A local newspaper had last Sunday reported that the president who left the country on November 23 to seek treatment in Saudi Arabia for an ailment medically called acute pericarditis was brain-damaged and could not recognize anyone, including his wife, Turai.

Note: Readers should see link to the recorded telephone interview courtesy the BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8453321.stm

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I am not impressed at all, why BBC why not NTA or AIT or any of our media outfit.

Thanks to God that our President is alive! Please we want to see our president in person, in Aso rock doing his duties. It looks like our Presido does not have confidence in his own media or what do you people think? I wish him quick recovery but i think Naija wahala is too much for him so please my dear President health first, resign you are not strong enough to do the job of a president. No hard feelings. If i am Turai, i'll personally make sure my husband resigns because if he dies all these sycophants dancing around him now will disappear and she would be left to carry her cross completely alone.
A relieve i guess it is but still i wonder why it took yar adua eternity to speak. So many questions arise in my mind:was that really his voice?? why did he have to speak to a foreign journalist ??? mmmh! politician amaze me

For what it's worth.welcome back yar adua, hope you don't disappear again but if you have to, please tell the citizens you govern they deserve to know at least since there's no progress the country can show for in your years in office.

Nigerians it's time we ask for the best hands not for who is available. GOD BLESS NIGERIA
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well to me is nt a strange thing cos I wasnt praying for is death tank God Alast he spoke on interview its my prayer everyday that he will return back to the country to continue what he as started. Elijah obon frm
To me, it is just a shame that the interest of one man; even if he is the president can be put over and above the interest of over 150 million Nigerians. One thing our leaders should know is that God is watching. If he is truly alive then it is a shame that he can not address the nation during the Christmas, the New Year as well as the attempted bombing incidence. It is the silence of our so called president that is making the Americans angry and we are here saying American was wrong in including Nigeria in the list. Our leaders think America is insensitive to their citizens like they are to us?

Some scrupulous people are there saying people are playing politics with the president's health; why wont they when we can not be told as a nation the health status of our president. In fact, I am not surprised after all we did not elect him, he was selected by some individuals.

God help Nigeria.
The fact yar'adua hasnt been around dosnt make nigeria sick....your mindset controls your lifeset..nigerian wake up from your slumber...
why should Nigerian president speak to Nigerians in an international media instead of local media, we have NTA, FRCN VON etc for him to use to address the country.
But it is also a good one that he has spoken at last
My people anybody can make a a telephone conversation and claim to be our Late President. I have computer audio softwares that can simulate anybody's voice. This whole thing is has moved from being ridiculous to being a slight. The federal Government should know that though Nigerians are tolerant we are very far from being stupid and we cannot be because we are smart. I see a cloud coming over this country. when this cloud clears there will be a big question..."Who will be left standing"
kai! its quite unfortunate that the president & his VP are representing the so called godfathers they are not ruling us, the godfathers are.they are TV being controled by remote (godfather).everything in our politics are bunch of lies.It boils down to the fact dat we preach one Nigeria but in the real sens we're not.
Osama Bin ladden does video tapes recording. Why does the AWOL President can’t at least do what Osama does? He is not a convict or someone wanted by the CIA or FBI. Is he the first head of State to be ill while in office? What is so secretive in updating the nation in the true state of its leader’s health if there is no ulterior motive? Why only in Nigeria simple things become so complicated? If so what sort of leader is he, when after 50 days he decided to speak to a foreign media and also he made no reference to who he delegated power to while he is out of office. When I am out of office for few days or weeks, I brief my team on what project I am on including any actions pending. I do not want to come back from my break and project milestone not implemented. A country like Nigeria will have so many activities pending presidential actions. Who does he think will be performing all the functions in his absent? This is why I get really baffled with the incompetence in the Nigerian leaderships. There are no succession planning in place. You have thieves who want to be head at all cost both in goverment and civil service. Everything is self centred. The nation is never in the plan. All these headless looters are only interested in looting as much, while there is no leadership. God help Nigeria before it falls apart.
what if Presido is actually (sic) alive? He is so magnanimous to have spoken at all, anyhow! Some Nigerians are truly ungrateful, the president reserves a constitutional right to fall sic? and even so to fall into a coma and remain so incommunicado. The only sordid consequence is that the whole world is watching us, the naive manner we manage issues concerning us as a people as if we are still expecting the brutish? colonial masters to come to our rescue. My last word is this:
If the Umya is dead or alive, he does not have to abandon us to consult a babalawo to determine that, for beyond 9months every normal pregnancy can no longer be hidden even if it will yield a monster or baby(dead or alive). It`s just going to take but a little while and the truth must surely be told.
It is quite unfortunate that it was when UMY's loyalists or Kitchen Cabinet as they are called sensed that the mass protest in Abuja could be used to sensitize the entire citizenry that they organised a BBC voice recording. The voice which appeared quite shakky could have been recorded in the earlier period of his admission in Saudi hospital, why did they wait so long to release the voice recording? Why couldn't UMY address the Nigerian citizens and his address video-taped? Why not speak with AIT, NTA correspondent? Enough of this foolery! Let's wait and see. I know time will tell.
I listened to the said recorded message of the President. If there had not been a protest to the National Assembly by people like Wole Soyinka, Tunde Bakare, Femi Falana, Emeka Ojukwu, Balarabe Musa, Muhammed Buhari, Sarah Omaku, etc, so our ailing President will keep mum while the affair of the Nigerian state is gradually being grounded!

This is a pointer to the fact that the time has come when an avarage Nigerian must not adopt the attitude of "sit down look" that an erstwhile Attorney General and Minister of Justice of Nigeria, late Chief Bola Ige (of blessed memory) adopted during the tyrannical and brutish regime of General Sanni Abacha. If most of us, as it is now happening, "sit down look", bad leaders and their cronies will keep ruling, raiding and ruining us! The bottomline is that more followers (masses of the people) must progressively, proactively, but peacefully pull the rug off the feet of these bad leaders especially in a blessed country like Nigeria-so blessed with all resources and yet so impoverished due to lack of visonary, authentic and transformational leaders. Or is it even a case of not allowing those who are qualified to get into leadership positions in Nigeria? Viewing it another way: does the system corrupt and condemn the 'right' people? However, it is also a trusim that such a system produced someone like Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State. This should give Nigerian youths hope of a better tomorrow in the face of the present decadence pervading Nigeria. The time has come for us to stand for right values whether as followers or leaders wherever we find ourselves on the surface of the earth. We must deemphasize and detest equating greatness of an individual to the degree of material acquistion he or she possesses rather than who he or she is and what he or she stands for.

To male things clear, let our honourable President appear online in a video that all Nigerians can see.
We want to know the state of health of President Yar Adua. As a President who cares and cherishes the rule of law, he should act responsively and responsibly by following the constituition of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which he swore to uphold by properly and legally handing over the affairs of the state to the Vice President, Jonathan Goodluck to avert plunging the nation into any nauseating occurrence of constituitional crisis. A stitich in time saves nine; better to be safe than sorry!

One issue is clear. The way our President spoke on the recorded tape was worrisome, as his voice was shaky and definitely gave him away as SERIOUSLY SICK and needing REST and to be totally EXCUSED from any herculean task such as governance especially of a vast and diversified entity called Nigeria. He should be persuaded to hand over NOW by his true FAMILY MEMBERS and FRIENDS, if they love his life. In addition, we are not even sure whether the message was recorded as the interviewing journalist did not see the President. Nigerians can not be fooled in this age of high-tech. We are waiting to see the end of the game; as every game must sure come to an end.

All said and done, Nigeria must move forward as we are praying for the recovery of our ailing President.

You can join us on Facebook in the group: Leading Light For Nigeria Transformation. It is open to Nigerians who are passionately about progressive, proactive and peaceful CHANGE.

JMO Ekundayo
KL Malaysia

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