Nigeria’s been without a President for at least two months. The incumbent, Umaru Yar’Adua, is in Saudi Arabia getting treatment for a heart condition. So the country’s effectively been without a leader all this time. This is in a context where the Nigeria’s now been placed on the US’s list of countries identified with terrorism and when political violence is tearing one its states apart.
At one point rumors even went around that the President was actually dead. He actually broke his silence and called the BBC, not his own country’s media, to announce he was definitely alive. Yar’Adua’s Cabinet has now been ordered by the country’s highest court to decide within fourteen days whether he is fit to lead the country.
In a clip from an interview broadcast last night on British television, the Nigerian foreign minister acknowledges that he as not spoken or had no contact with the President for at least two months (!), contradicts a Cabinet colleague on US-Nigeria relations, and still tries to defend the sorry state of affairs. Nigeria limps on.