Nigeria’s ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua prayed with a religious delegation at his home for the the second time in five days on Monday, reviving uncertainty over the leadership of Africa’s most populous nation.
Yar’Adua’s inner circle, led by his wife Turai, have started to allow select groups of guests to meet the president, raising questions about whether the leader’s health is improving and whether he would be well enough to return to power.
The 58-year-old leader has not been seen in public in five months and little is known about his medical condition since few people have seen him.
Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, who has assumed executive powers in Yar’Adua’s absence, and other top political leaders have yet to meet the president since he returned from hospital in Saudi Arabia two months ago.
Jonathan is hoping to assert his authority and push through key reforms in sectors ranging from banking and energy in sub-Saharan Africa’s second biggest economy.
But a power struggle could limit progress and stall government business.
Jonathan is expected to swear in and assign portfolios to 38 new ministers on Tuesday, a month after dissolving Yar’Adua’s cabinet.
Pastor Emmanuel Kure, leader of the Throneroom Trust Ministry in Kaduna state, said Yar’Adua prayed with him and three other Christian leaders for about 10 minutes at the president’s residence in the capital Abuja on Monday.
“The prayer was for the Lord to perfect his healing,” Kure said, adding that he was invited by Yar’Adua on Saturday.
He declined to elaborate on the meeting or discuss Yar’Adua’s health. “I do not want to get involved in the politics. It is not my place,” Kure said.
The president also prayed with four senior Islamic clerics at his residence last Thursday.
SOURCED FROM REUTERS