Who is running Nigeria?

ABUJA - Nigerians demanded to know who was running the country yesterday after the return of ailing President Umaru Yar'Adua from medical treatment abroad stirred fears of a power struggle and government deadlock.

The renewed uncertainty threatens to keep official decisions on hold in the Opec member of more than 140million people and could endanger hopes of cementing an amnesty for rebels in the oil-producing Niger Delta.

Although Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan is officially running state business, Yar'Adua's wife Turai is emerging as increasingly powerful and controls access to a president not seen in public for three months and too sick to rule.

"Who is in charge here?" asked the opposition Action Congress.

The headline on the Daily Trust newspaper read: "President + Ag (Acting) President = Confusion." Jonathan has been unable to see Yar'Adua since his return from Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. A planned meeting with Turai to discuss the president's health was cancelled.

Jonathan assumed powers two weeks ago in Yar'Adua's absence and quickly set about reviving government work that had been in paralysis for months . - Reuters

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