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Unclear when Nigeria leader will return home:envoy

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua remains in hospital in Saudi Arabia and it is not yet clear when he will be able to return home, a Nigerian ambassador said on Sunday.


The 58-year-old leader was flown to a clinic in Jeddah three weeks ago after complaining of chest pains and has been diagnosed with acute pericarditis, an inflammation of the membrane around the heart that can restrict normal beating.

“Since his arrival in the Kingdom he has been feeling better by the day … the doctors will decide when he can leave. Now they said he should rest in the hospital and they have not given a date for when he can leave,” Abdullah Aminchi, Nigerian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said in a statement.

He did not comment on the current medical condition of the president.

Yar’Adua’s stay in a clinic in the Red Sea port of Jeddah is the latest in a series of overseas medical trips which have raised concern about his fitness. He has in the past visited Saudi Arabia and Germany to treat a chronic kidney problem.

Nigeria’s cabinet unanimously agreed earlier this month that there were no grounds on which to seek the president’s resignation, rejecting calls for him to quit or let a panel of doctors determine whether he is fit to govern.

The cabinet came out strongly backing Yar’Adua after at least nine Nigerian newspaper front pages carried a statement reportedly signed by more than 50 public figures calling on him to resign or allow a medical panel to assess his health.

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