Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua Returns

The volatile political situation in Nigeria is expected to again take center stage after President Umaru Yar’Adua arrived back in Africa’s most populous nation, ending more than three months of stay in Saudi Arabia. The 58-year-old underwent treatment in the Middle Eastern country for pericarditis, a condition that affects the normal beating of the heart.

A government official close to Yar’Adua said the leader would return to the presidential villa but refused to divulge any information about the present health condition of the president. Aside from the cardiovascular disease, Yar’Adua also suffers from a chronic kidney ailment.

Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as acting president early this month to plug a power vacuum caused by Yar’Adua’s ailing health and prevent the economy of Africa’s primary oil producer from collapsing. Jonathan could assume the remainder of Yar’Adua’s term if the president is deemed unfit to continue his sworn duties. Nigeria’s next presidential election is not due until April next year.