The much-guarded secret of Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s ailment finally came out today with an official statement announcing that he is suffering from acute pericarditis.

“The medical review and tests undertaken at the hospital have confirmed the initial diagnosis that the president is indeed suffering from acute pericarditis,” an official statement issued by his special adviser on communications, Segun Adeniyi, announced.

Mr. Adeneyi said that the President is receiving treatment for the illness and is responding remarkably well.

Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium or the fibrous sac surrounding the heart.

Mr. Yar’Adua’ s trip to Saudi Arabia led to rumours about his critical health and possibility of death that was later dismissed by Mr. Adeniyi.

The President could not present the budget to a joint session of the assembly last week, after the Senate and the House of Representatives failed to agree on the venue for the presentation. Local media reports claimed that the disagreement was a ruse, designed to give Mr. Yar’Adua an escape route since he could not possibly stand the rigour of the presentation.

Hospitals within Nigeria are not well equipped to handle several cases warranting many patients to travel abroad for treatment and India is a preferred destination.

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