Your daily Yar’Adua death-watch update

For the last five months, it has been pretty much anyone’s guess whether the Nigerian president, Umaru Yar’Adua, was alive, dead, or somewhere ambiguously in between. No one has seen him in public since November. But in the latest odd twist, a group of religious leaders in Nigeria claim to have met the president, with ...

By , International Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Colombia.

For the last five months, it has been pretty much anyone's guess whether the Nigerian president, Umaru Yar'Adua, was alive, dead, or somewhere ambiguously in between. No one has seen him in public since November.

But in the latest odd twist, a group of religious leaders in Nigeria claim to have met the president, with whom they offered prayers but didn't speak.  He appeared to be conscious, or "in his senses," as one put it. 

Meanwhile, Sahara Reporters, a diaspora-based news site that has a knack for being right, reports that Yar'Adua's wife, Turai, is on a push to convince the country that her husband is nearly well -- and well be back, as Nigerians like to say, "any moment from now." (I will leave it to your imagination what kind of timeline that indicates. Translate it literally and you'll be pretty close... literally any moment, from now until....)

For the last five months, it has been pretty much anyone’s guess whether the Nigerian president, Umaru Yar’Adua, was alive, dead, or somewhere ambiguously in between. No one has seen him in public since November.

But in the latest odd twist, a group of religious leaders in Nigeria claim to have met the president, with whom they offered prayers but didn’t speak.  He appeared to be conscious, or "in his senses," as one put it. 

Meanwhile, Sahara Reporters, a diaspora-based news site that has a knack for being right, reports that Yar’Adua’s wife, Turai, is on a push to convince the country that her husband is nearly well — and well be back, as Nigerians like to say, "any moment from now." (I will leave it to your imagination what kind of timeline that indicates. Translate it literally and you’ll be pretty close… literally any moment, from now until….)

In a piece for FP yesterday,  former Nigeria minister Nasir El-Rufai called for an end to this madness so that the country can move on. He’s an insider — someone who has seen the back-room deals of Nigerian politics and now has had enough. Read his juicy account of all the mayhem here

Elizabeth Dickinson is International Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Colombia.

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