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Nigerian Lawmakers Denied Access to Yar'Adua


President Umaru Yar'Adua (file)

President Umaru Yar'Adua (file)

Five members of parliament reportedly traveled to Saudi Arabia and met with the president's wife, but never saw or talked to Mr. Yar'Adua.

A group of Nigerian lawmakers has been blocked from seeing President Umaru Yar'Adua, who has been hospitalized in Saudi Arabia for more than 80 days.

Nigerian newspapers report that five members of parliament traveled to Saudi Arabia this past week and spent several days trying to gain access to the president.

The reports say they met with the president's wife Turai but never saw or talked to Mr. Yar'Adua. They returned home to Nigeria Saturday.

Last Tuesday, Nigeria's parliament voted to transfer power to Vice President Goodluck Jonathan until Mr. Yar'Adua can return.

The president has made no public appearances and given only one brief radio interview since being flown to Saudi Arabia November 23.

Nigeria's ruling party said last month that the president had been discharged from Saudi Arabia's King Faisal hospital. However, all the newspaper reports Sunday said Mr. Yar'Adua remains hospitalized.

Officials have said he is being treated for a heart condition, acute pericarditis. Mr. Yar'Adua is also known to have a chronic kidney ailment.

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