Cherchez La Femme?
First rumored on January 25th, the return of Umaru Musa Yar'Adua to Nigeria appears to have finally been accomplished at the behest of his wife, Turai. According to stories in All Africa, Next, and Elendu Reports, Mrs. Yar'Adua has instigated what may well be a coup d'etat by returning her husband to Nigeria in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 24th, 2010. According to the story "Turai takes charge" published in the newspaper Next and authored by Tolu Ogunlesi, Terfa Tilley-Gyado and Elizabeth Archibong,
...the arrival of the President in the early hours of Wednesday was engineered to take place in utmost secrecy. Just before midnight on Tuesday, the military units sealed off the presidential wing of the airport and cordoned off the area, ordering all airport staff to move to the international wing. The airport was sealed off from journalists and other visitors who had begun to gather at the presidential wing. The air ambulance conveying the President finally landed at 1.45am in a remote section of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
Since the president's arrival, acting president Goodluck Jonathan has been sequestered and blocked from taking the symbolic "presidential seat" in Abuja. Mrs. Yar'Adua appears to have the support of a few generals and officials within the security and defense apparatus who were standing in opposition to Mr. Jonathan's installation as acting president. President Yar'Adua himself does not appear to be healthy enough to govern the country. He is reportedly being kept in a specially outfitted ambulance which brought him home from the airport.
This just in! - The United States State Department, represented in Abuja by Under Secretary of State Johnnie Carson, has issued a strongly worded statement of concern. As quoted in Next, the statement expresses our hope that “President Yar’Adua’s return to Nigeria is not an effort by his senior advisors to upset Nigeria’s stability and create renewed uncertainty in the democratic process.” The full text of Mr. Carson's statement is available at the webpage for the United States embassy in Abuja here.