BREAKING NEWS: PDP Presidential Candidate YarAdua Collapses; Is Flown to Germany

4 Comments » March 6th, 2007 posted by // Categories: Favorite Articles

BREAKING NEWS: THE mystery over the health of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Umar Yar’Adua, deepened yesterday as there was an anxiety over his whereabouts. [TRIBUNE]

For the breaking news, see:

Elendu Reports

The Times of Nigeria

After rumors of death, denial by PDP Secretary Chief Ojo Maduekwe will be seen on:

Yar’Adua is reported to say “I am alive and well” in:

Listen to Sunday Dare of VOA interview Umar Musa Yar’Adua

Listen to Idris Abubakar of BBC Hausa Service Interview Umar Musa Yar’Adua

For those who do not understand Hausa here is the (rough) translation:

“Yar’adua spoke stating that “as we were going for a campaign trip, I felt as though I was losing breath. Our doctors insisted that we have the situation checked (he stressed that because of an earlier ailment…I presume kidney…any “little medical condition” is taken seriously and streneous efforts are taken to ensure that it isn’t related to the “other” problem). He further says he is “healthy” and will contest the presidency.” – AG

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4 Responses to “BREAKING NEWS: PDP Presidential Candidate YarAdua Collapses; Is Flown to Germany”

  1. alukome says:

    Kidney ailment plagues Nigeria’s ruling party candidate

    POSTED: 8:46 p.m. EST, March 6, 2007
    Story Highlights

  2. NigerianMuse says:

    BBC News

    Published: 2007/03/07 09:16:37 GMT

    Nigerian contender seeks check-up
    Nigeria’s ruling party presidential contender has been flown to Germany for a medical check-up.
    Umaru Yar’Adua, 55, is the front runner to win April’s poll and has previously suffered from a kidney illness.

    His People’s Democratic Party says doctors had advised Mr Yar’Adua to go for further tests overseas, but insists he will return to the campaign early.

    A BBC correspondent says concerns about Mr Yar’Adua’s health is giving way to speculation that he may be replaced.

    He became the PDP presidential candidate after being backed by President Olusegun Obasanjo – who steps down in April after eight years in power.

    Gruelling task

    A spokesman for the PDP said Mr Yar’Adua’s trip abroad was part of a routine medical check-up.

    The party said he would take time off from a gruelling campaign and would rejoin the campaign trail early.

    The BBC’s Alex Last in Lagos says the PDP’s assurances will do little to calm widespread concerns about Mr Yar’Adua’s state of health.

    It will increase speculation that he could be replaced as the party’s candidate.

    Not least, our reporter says, as being president of a country like Nigeria is such a gruelling task and the presidential elections are only a month away.

    In January, Mr Yar’Adua sought to squash rumours about his health inviting his critics to a game of squash if they could play 12 straight squash sets.

    A tall, thin, quietly-spoken man, Mr Yar’Adua was a relatively unknown northern Muslim governor before he won the governing party primaries with the backing of President Obasanjo.

    As the governing party’s candidate, with access to its money and power, he is widely considered to be the favourite to become Nigeria’s next president in elections in April.

    The Katsina governor has a reputation as having run one of the country’s most honest state administrations.

    The polls should become the first transfer of power in Africa’s most populous country from one elected leader to another since independence in 1960.


    Yar’Adua ill, flown to Germany
    By Akpo Esajere, Group Political Editor
    PRESIDENTIAL hopeful and governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, was last night flown to Germany for medical attention, following what was generally described as a "sudden degeneration of health."

    Yar’Adua, candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the coming presidential election, was flown in an air ambulance from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at about 8.30 p.m.

    He had reportedly developed a health problem during the party’s campaign in Benin City, Edo State, after which construction giant, Julius Berger, was contacted to make arrangement for his flight abroad.

    The state of health of the governor had been subject of much speculation, right from when he emerged the presidential candidate of the ruling party late last year.

    Yar’Adua had, however, denied the rumour and, in fact challenged his critics to a game of squash.

    President Olusegun Obasanjo had also denied the speculation which he attributed to opposition parties. But what started as a mere speculation all over the country yesterday was confirmed as reality when PDP had to admit its candidate was having health problems.

    The national secretary of the ruling party, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, last night, however, issued a statement confirming that Yar’Adua had gone into a hospital for medical check-up.

    The Guardian learnt yesterday that some top members of the PDP deplored Maduekwe’s disclosure of the development.

    The party’s scribe in the statement admitted that the "process of medical investigation" by Yar’Adua could necessitate foreign treatment, but added that it was only a "routine medical check-up."

    Maduekwe also said that the foreign trip was a "short break in the presidential candidate’s schedule."

    His statement read: "Our candidate in the general election, His Excellency, Governor Umaru 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. This is an exercise, which the demand of the campaign had understandably not permitted the candidate the necessary time to effect.

    Disclosing the party’s efforts at safeguarding the health of its presidential candidate, Maduekwe said: "In fact, the national chairman, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, a physician himself, spoke with the presidential candidate and suggested to him that his keenness and eagerness to continue to exert himself on the campaign should be moderated by his still attending to what was expected to be a routine medical check-up."

    The party’s scribe continued: "The candidate spoke with the President who is the leader of the party today. He spoke with the deputy national chairman and the director-general of the presidential campaign, Chief Olabode George. The culmination of all this is that he went on his own to a clinic for a medical check-up which is long over-due."

    Maduekwe disclosed further: "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."

    Giving a hint of the plan to fly Yar’Adua abroad, the party said: "Accordingly, Governor Yar’Adua is expected to be briefly away for the completion of a medical process which began today in Nigeria. There is no cause for alarm. The presidential candidate is expected to return early to continue the national campaign, which has so far elicited a historic groundswell of support, solidarity and enthusiasm from millions of party faithful and voters anxious of the continuation of the PDP government at all levels."

    He added: "We wish our presidential candidate God’s continued protection as he proceeds on this short break."

    No cause for alarm on Yar’ Adua, says Maduekwe
    By Kodilinye Obiagwu
    THE urgent call came in about 7. 30 p.m: The PDP National Secretary, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, needed to make a press statement. No hint was given about the subject. The venue was Room 604 of the Sheraton Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos. At 8.00 p.m. long after early callers had taken some glasses of wine, Maduekwe was still not through with drafting the statement.

    At about 8.10 p.m., his effort was truncated by a blackout in the hotel. After a futile wait for the restoration of power, the PDP scribe came to the lounge of his suite to give what he called a background for the press briefing.

    Just then, his phone rang. He answered. It rang again, and again. As banters were exchanged while everyone waited, the discussion centred on the failure of the power sector. Maduekwe wondered why solar energy was not catching on. He noted that a government with the political will might adopt it one day and then "there would be mass production and it will not be so expensive." He admitted that he was not properly informed about the "solar thing". Then light was restored after about 20 minutes.

    Dressed in simple Rivers State traditional attire Shoko, with a neat hat that he kept wearing and dropping on the desk, the PDP scribe sat again to read his statement. But then his phone rang again. The call appeared to have come from an important person. Maduekwe’s first words were "Your Excellency". And he went into his bedroom to take the call. That took him about 10 minutes.

    An aide said the party scribe was taking clarifications and more information on the statement from the PDP’s National Chairman, Dr. Ahmadu Ali. When he finally emerged at about 8. 40 p.m., Maduekwe was full of apologies for the delay and on behalf of the hotel for the blackout.

    He said: "I hope you guys have your tapes." Only one person had his tape. And then he finally and slowly read his statement.

    The first indication that something was wrong was when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Governor Musa Umaru Yar’Adua, failed to appear at a scheduled rally in Lagos yesterday. The running mate, Goodluck Jonathan, addressed the rally.

    Maduekwe confirmed that the party’s presidential candidate was ill and had gone for a routine medical check up in Abuja. Although he said that Yar’Adua personally walked to the clinic in Abuja, Maduekwe noted that it was on the advice of "his personal physician."

    Maduekwe refused to confirm details of the ailment or whether there were plans to take the presidential aspirant overseas for further treatment. He said: "Those details are still being worked out. I am not his personal physician to comment on what he is suffering from."

    He noted that Yar’Adua would only be away briefly and that there was no plan that the PDP presidential candidate would step down.

    "Nothing like that. He has not stepped down. And this will not stop the campaign. Our presidential campaign will continue full stream. We don’t expect any situation where he would not contest the polls. We are optimistic that he would remain in good health. There is no cause for alarm"

    Maduekwe dismissed insinuations that the party’s presidential candidate was unhealthy. He explained that "any body can fall ill. I don’t think there is anyone who is completely in good health. Even the healthiest person in any field is vulnerable to the vagaries of nature. His health has become an issue because he is a presidential candidate and it is natural that the strains of the hectic campaign schedule could have affected him."

    Maduekwe tried to make light on the question of if Nigerians will vote for a president with a poor health.

    He said: "It is not true that he has a permanent poor health. Our health and life belong to God. We should not try to behave as if we are God or that we can determine someone’s health."

    The party’s scribe added: "We should remember that one of America’s respected Presidents, John F Kennedy, was in poor heath most of his time in his short tenure. He had a poor back-ache and he did not die from that ailment. He turned America around in his poor health.

    "The health of a President is something that should be approached with decency and the fact that God is in charge of our health."

    When asked: Can Nigerians cope with a President who goes abroad often for medical checks, he replied: "Presidents go abroad for other reasons, what is strange about one going for medical reasons."







  4. Mafulul Awin says:

    President Yar adua will be my President even beyond 2011 if God want Him to be.

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