Yar’Adua Returns to Nigeria Secretly

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

President Umaru Yar’Adua arrived Abuja early this morning after three months in Saudi Arabia, where he has been undergoing treatment for a heart condition.

According to a Reuters report , the President left Jeddah International Airport “at 10:22 pm (1922 GMT) alone in a plane and another plane carried Nigerian government envoys.”

The air ambulance carrying the president landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at exactly 1.47am. There was huge  presence of journalists at the airport  and some  vehicles at the airport that had dignitaries who were there to receive the President drove to the aircraft.
Among the vehicles was a new Ford E-250 intensive care ambulance, which is believed to have conveyed him to the Presidential Villa. The second aircraft, a presidential jet, landed at 1.56am and taxied to the same spot as the first one.

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Adamu Aliero, and other top government functioneries were at the airport to receive him. There was a sort of secrecy to his return and condition of health, fuelling fears that he may not be in sound health to resume immediately.

Before his arrival, about 200 soldiers and armed policemen had been deployed in the airport’s presidential wing. The  soldiers were deployed in some streets in the FCT before the aircraft landed.
Aviation workers on shift duty at the presidential lounge were asked to leave the area.
A military truck was sighted around 11.30pm dropping soldiers at various spots, including Bolingo Hotel junction along Olusegun Obasanjo Way in Area 10.

Attempts by journalists to get to the presidential lounge were rebuffed by the soldiers. They ordered the newsmen to leave the area.

The lights went off around 1.14am, as authorities of the airport switched from public power supply to generator. This was to avoid any embarrassment from an unexpected power outage.
Soldiers cordoned off the route from the airport to the city as the presidential convoy made its way into the FCT. Those who drove through the route before the President arrived were forced to vacate the route hurriedly.


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