- Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice says the ailing President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s could perform his official duties from the hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Michael Aondoakaa said the presidential powers as stipulated by the Federal Government legislation, are not exercised territorially, cementing the fact that Mr Yar’Adua can run his office outside Nigeria.
President Yar’Adua, reportedly recovery well from the surgery, was flown out of the country to King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Jeddah on 23 November after he complained of severe chest pains.
He said there was no evidence that he is not exercising his powers as President, saying his vice-president and his ministers whom he delegates power and functions can execute the functions of government.
“The powers of the President are not exercised territorially. Yar’Adua can exercise his powers anywhere in the world, on the plane, at the meeting of the United Nations or even on his sick bed, as long as he is not incapacitated by the sickness,” he said.
The harsh statement follows incessant calls by opposition parties and the elites calling for the resignation of President Yar’Adua on medical grounds.
Mr Aondoakaa cautioned opposition leaders against making utterances capable of destabilising the nation, stating that they should rather work hard for the 2011 presidential elections.
President Yar’Adua has traveled to Saudi Arabia in the past for treatment for a chronic kidney problem, raising questions about whether he will be fit enough to run for a second term in 2011.
Mr Yar'Adua was dogged by ill-health even during the election campaign that brought him to power in 2007.
He won the presidency following the April 2007 elections which were condemned by local and foreign observers, who alleged widespread vote-rigging.
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