Nigerian leader’s health improving:envoy

Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua is recuperating in a royal suite at a clinic in Saudi Arabia but doctors want him fit enough to resume office before discharging him, Nigeria’s ambassador said on Monday.

Yar’Adua has been in Saudi Arabia for two months receiving treatment for a heart condition but has not formally transferred power to his deputy, triggering debate over the legality of government decisions in his absence.

“He is now resting at the royal suite attached to the hospital and recuperating there and we are waiting for the doctors to discharge him … (Doctors) want to make sure that when he goes back, he goes back to office directly,” Ambassador Abdullah Aminchi told News Agency.

“From what I am seeing he is doing much better than two months ago. He is gaining weight and his condition has tremendously improved,” he said.

A Nigerian court ruled on Friday that the cabinet must pass a resolution within two weeks on Yar’Adua’s fitness to govern after a former lawmaker brought a legal case against the government saying the president’s failure to transfer power breached the constitution.

A separate, earlier court ruling gave Vice President Goodluck Jonathan the right to exercise executive powers but said he could not be “acting president”, sparking confusion over how far his authority extends while Yar’Adua is absent.



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