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I'm alive -- Nigerian president

Breaking a seven-week silence, Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua yesterday took to the airwaves from his Saudi hospital bed to reassure his increasingly agitated nation that he was neither dead nor in a coma.

"At the moment I am undergoing treatment, and I'm getting better from the treatment," the 58-year-old president told the BBC by telephone.

Mr Yar'Adua flew to Saudi Arabia on November 23. He was hospitalised for pericarditis, an inflammation of the heart lining. As the days have ticked by consternation has grown.

Nigerians have been grappling with the fall-out of the failed Christmas Day bombing attempted by one of their own; militants in the Niger Delta have broken their ceasefire because of stalled talks with the government; and three lawsuits have been lodged to get power handed over to the vice president. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent