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Your reaction to Nigeria's president interview

Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua (file photo from 29 July 2009)

Nigerians have been sending their thoughts on the telephone interview that their president gave to Mansur Liman from the BBC Hausa service.

President Umaru Yar'Adua, 58, has not been seen in public since going into hospital in Saudi Arabia for heart treatment in November.

His long absence has generated swirling rumours over his health and demands that he hand power to his vice-president.


Thanks for your comments. Please read a selection below:

Mr President I salute you. Yes you are unwell yes you need medical treatment. I wish you quick recovery. But I must not fail to tell you that the way you handle this issue made Nigerians to be suspicious. You have a Vice; nothing was passed on to him. Take Northern Ireland for example the first minister's wife was accused of some malpractices and he stepped aside for someone to run the affairs of the country till he is fit to come back. One would have thought if you have the nation at heart you would have done the same. Good Luck and Happy New Year Mr President.
Kingsley Onofua, London

We all seems to be complaining that he is giving the interview to a foreign media (which I am also complaining about), but do we realize we are also airing our complaint on a foreign media?
Waheed Alabede, USA

Let me start by thanking God Almighty for His kind heart to keep our President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua to finish his good work on this earth, I and my family are very happy to here that he is speaking glibly, it is a great testimony, we will continue to pray for him to come back and continue his work in Jesus name amen.
Mr Fred, Jos, Nigeria

It would be heart gladdening if it's actual Yar'Adua that actually spoke to the BBC, as here in Nigeria we so much believe in "seeing is believing". It would be better if BBC can send their correspondent to the Saudi Hospital and do a one on one with our President and not just broadcasting a voice that have not been authenticated.
Tope Onabajo, Lagos, Nigeria

From his tone you can only be convince that he is physically too weak to rule the country and it's best he hands over power. But Nigeria is a funny country; I won't be surprised if he runs for re-election in next years election [i.e. if he's still alive].
Alex Onyeonwu, Lagos, Nigeria.

Thank God Mr President is alive...I think the most important thing to Nigerians now is not whether the voice is that of Yar'Adua or not but to move forward. This country cannot afford to stand still until the day Yar'Adua will be discharged in the so called Saudi Arabia hospital. So, agreed that the man is on sick leave...let him obey the constitution of the land in line with his preaching according to rule of law and just hand over to his VP. Yar'Adua's kitchen cabinets should realise that its wrong for a man to occupy a space he cannot fill...advise him to step aside for a while!
SS Oladiji, Lagos, Nigeria

Thank God for BBC news. Because if not them, talks will be in the country that he is dead. Please Nigerians let's keep our green white green flying.
Kinsaint, Aba, Nigeria

This voice is of an imposter. It would make little sense for a president who has been absent from his people for two months to now present himself to a foreign news company in order to communicate with his countrymen, especially when there are dozens of news organisations in his own country. That's like Gordon Brown speaking to Al-Jazeera before the BBC.
Kelechi Okoro, London

Why is it that some people are doubting voice of President Yar'Adua? It is that they want him dead? I think this is about time that we thank the Almighty God for him to even speak out about almost two months of being in hospital. Mr President, I wish you good health, and ask that you pray for those that wish you death.
Prince Ferzo Forfor, Ganta, Liberia

Is the BBC a Nigerian media house? If the president wants to make a speech, let him invite our national television to his sick bed so Nigerians can see how he looks.
francis Asisi, lagos

if the so called president can do an audio recording what stops him from doing a video recording? if our so called leaders think that a whole nation nation like Nigeria can be fooled, they should thinking of how to vacate their seats because that voice recorded does not sound like the voice of the president and the voice is not consistent. Nigerian leader are just too greedy and self-centered, it is a pity we have such leaders who don't think with their brains but think with their foots.
Sadiq Abubakar, Kaduna, Nigeria

I want to comment as a patriotic Nigerian that believes strongly in the constitution of my great country, Nigeria. The telephone interview by our ailing President, Musa Yar'Adua, with one of your correspondents is not enough to convince Nigerians on the state of the President's health. A video interview will be more acceptable to Nigerians. If i may ask, "Why has the President not granted interview to any Nigeria media houses, ever since he left the shores of the country for Saudi Arabia for treatment?" Please respond and let over 150 million Nigerians know if they are like 'sheep without a shepherd.' Thank you.
Prince Efe 'Jero, Warri, Nigeria

If he can make a three minute call, why can't he make a three minute video and address the nation? this whole thing make us all look foolish and stupid! it doesn't take much to make a video! why is he not addressing any of our television stations or radio stations? o... he doesn't believe in them just as he doesn't believe in our health care system too! i wish him speedy recovery. but he must bear in mind that things have to move on!
Theodora, Lagos, Nigeria

I am really sorry, that Mr President has been undergoing a tough medical condition. The mood of the voice I heard here provokes more sympathy than I ever had toward the president. I wish him a quick recovery. But it's not acceptable for the President of Nigeria to grant this kind of interview to a foreign media. It would have shown maturity, patriotism and leadership by example, if he had granted this interview to a Nigerian media. It shows that he is not only sick in the heart and kidney as reported by the doctors but in the mind. How be it we are waiting for him in Nigeria. He started well and we cannot wait forever to see him end well. We love him.
Uduak Anselem Bassey, Calabar, Nigeria

Mr President should resign and return to his family home. Nigeria's presidency is nobody's personal property though it has been treated as such. Challenges before our nation are far too enormous to be left in the hand of a sick president who may never recover fully. Those that surround Mr President should know that he is no longer a private person, he lost his privacy that day he reluctantly agreed to be president of the republic, therefore his health status should not be shrouded in secrecy. Mr President show your love to your country and resign.
Olubori Samuel Olubayo, Bida, Nigeria

The telephone interview have only just confirmed that at least the president is alive. But other than that, it hasn't changed anything because, it still leaves very relevant questions unanswered: When is the president coming back to resume work? How long will the nation be kept waiting? Did this telephone interview show video pictures of the president, talking, walking or sitting down? To say that soon Mr President would or should be fit enough to return home is simply not enough. How soon is this soon going to be? See, this telephone interview still leaves lots of questions unanswered. Now, why is it so hard to transfer powers to the vice president on the interim so that the affairs of the state could run smoothly? I think while all the dilly dally is going on, the Nigerians people are the ones suffering big time. Thank you.
Edwin Eriye, Lagos, Nigeria.

I think the telephone call is not real because anybody can talk on the phone pretending to be Yar'Adua, but one thing is certain, they can't deceive Nigerians for long because the truth will prevail.
Precious, Lagos, Nigeria.

Can't hear the interviewer in this report. This could be recorded. Yeah wishing the Nigerian National Team success in Angola makes the interview sound recent but listening carefully he did not say "I wish the National Team of Nigeria NOW IN or ONGOING nations cup in Angola success" All Nigerians and me especially wants the President to get well and return to the country but the way information is kept from Nigerians is suspicious. Please Nigerians will definitely pray more if they see a video interview of our President. I pray for Healing and Quick recovery of our President.
Boyloaf, Hawaii

I feel and pray for his quick recovery, just like every other Nigerian is praying for his recovery, but the leadership vacuum created as a result of his ill-health should be filled for the country to move ahead.
Godfrey O., Port Harcourt,Nigeria

This is getting unbearable! This is serious! It is only in Nigeria that the President will disappear for donkeys of days only to come back on foreign media. On the 1st of January, he could not address us, when a Nigerian wanted to blow up America, silent and even when Nigeria was on terrorist list, not even a word. Do we even have a responsible President? Even if it's not our voted that put him there, doesn't it good for him to be responsible to us? Just for once!..... Nigeria, we must start doing something!
Wale, Ibadan, Nigeria

It is really a great relief to kill the avalanche of rumours of his death from different segments of the society and even outside the country. But I feel it should not have taken him this long to do this. This will surely reduce the apprehension which has since enveloped the country. But to completely cool the country he should now write the National Assembly transmitting power to his deputy in acting capacity. Overly and happy that he is still alive.
Mr. Bethel Uchegbu, Owerri, Nigeria

It is one thing to be alive and it is another to be well enough to function as a President and it is also possible for the voice to be faked (anything is possible in this world). Must he die in office to handover to a capable hand, this is the problem of African leaders!
R.A. Prince, Lagos, Nigeria

The telephone interview with President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua from his Saudi Hospital bed on 11 January, 2010 is one of the greatest things that has happened to Nigeria so far this year. I give kudos to the President's staff for facilitating this interview because it has doused tension in the country following the conflicting information about his whereabouts, rumoured telephone conversation with the Vice President and some of his close associates. During a discussion with a friend on this issue earlier in the day, I had wondered aloud why the President's audio message to Nigerians could not be done to reassure the people that indeed their President is still alive and receiving treatment. Little did I know that my thought process was being acted upon? I pray for him to recover quickly and return to take a final decision about his health, the leadership and the future of this great country. For the mice that have been playing and celebrating the absence of the cat, they should be warned and remember that the cat often have nine lives.
Daniel Odey Ibrahim, Abuja

It's so good to hear the president speak and tell us himself that he's recuperating. I wish him the quickest of recoveries so he can return to his job and to Nigerians who have truly been missing his presence and have ever since been fervently praying for his recovery.
Bernard Ubom, Akwa Ibom, Nigeria

We thank God the president is alive and has finally broken his silence but this fact does not justify his failure to hand over to the vice president. What is he afraid of: A coup? His action or inaction will be the only thing to bring such to pass.
Kingsley Igono, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

It is not enough to hear him, when you see you will definitely know whether he is getting better or he is not so I think the phone call is one step forward. Let's see him on camera.
Martha, Jos, Nigeria

Thank God he is alive. I am very sure that if not for the rumours about his death, he would not have deemed it necessary to speak at all. This shows how our leaders in Nigeria take us for granted. Sometimes I wonder why the people at the helms of affairs travel abroad for medical attention and care less about the numbers of Nigerians dying of the same illness.
Adebayo, Lagos, Nigeria

The telephone conversation is not acceptable by we Nigerians. Mr president should at least make a one minute live broadcast to the nation so that we can be convinced that he is still and surely alive because we love him and we want him to continue but if the illness is serious and its affecting his responsibility, Mr president should handover to his VP.
Ogeleza, Nigeria

I quite sympathise with President Umaru Yar'Adua on his health. I wish him a quick recovery. But I would advise him to forget about his seat in the presidency, and think more of how to take care of his health. He should ignore his advisers and obey the constitution and the rule of law.
Isaac Asabor, Lagos, Nigeria

At last, we know that he is alive. Thank God. His voice sounds weak though, it seems that he is making a tremendous effort to speak. The govt should try and be more open with sensitive issues as this. being sick is only natural and besides if a voted leader is sick I believe those that voted him into office are entitled to know the state of his health. I hope this will put to rest the tension surrounding his absence.
Soso, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

I'm disappointed in the leadership of this country. Why did the President wait this long before allaying the fears of the citizenry? It's unfair that the country has to be in limbo with bated breath while the President gets treatment. He should do the honourable thing in accordance with Section 144 of the Nigerian constitution and hand-over to the Vice-President. His health has obviously failed him!
Opeyemi, Lagos, Nigeria

How long are you people going to deceive us, was that Yar'adua's voice or somebody else, show a clear video of him. Enough is Enough.
Keneri, Nigeria

We feel more relief. Ill health could happen to anybody, I wish him quick recovery. He could have also spoken to Nigerian media.
Yusuf atta, Kaduna, Nigeria

Why BBC? When Nigerian government spends billions of tax payers' money in funding both a state TV network and a radio network? Is it that the President's handlers do not trust their own propaganda machine? If he can speak then he can temporarily transfer power to the Vice-President and allow the nation move on.
Usman, Lagos, Nigeria

While the telephone conversation may prove that Umaru Yar'Adua is still alive, it is absurd that he still refuses to comply with constitutional provisions to enable his deputy act in his absence.
Kingsley Omose, Lagos, Nigeria

Many Nigerians are well known for the con game. Your correspondent should have requested a face-to-face interview instead of a telephone chat that could easily have been faked by a clever actor. Do not be deceived, Nollywood actors are among the best in the world. The voice does not appear genuine.
Obi Sykes, Reading, England

How do we really know it's him? As far as I'm concerned, as long as Mr President's presence with us is not verified by someone who has actually seen him, this could be another plot by his inner-circle to buy more time... if indeed he is no longer with us as some reports allege.
Dr Folami, Manhattan, NY



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