Six years ago today, Nigeria’s President Umaru Musa Yar’adua passed on. Yar’adua, who was the 13th Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria, died at the age of 59 (16 August 1951 – 5 May 2010) having struggled with a kidney disease and pericarditis, which eventually culminated in his death in 2010.
A seven-day period of national mourning was declared by The Federal Government of Nigeria. The acting President, Goodluck Jonathan, declared in a solemn speech to the nation that:
“Nigeria has lost the jewel on its crown and even the heavens mourn with our nation tonight. As individuals and as a nation we prayed for the recovery of Mr President. But we take solace in the fact that the Almighty is the giver and taker of all life.”
Born into an aristocratic Fulani family in Katsina as son of a former Minister of Lagos in the first republic, Yar’adua had served as governor of Katsina State from May 29 1999 to 28 may 2007 before contesting and being elected president in May 29 2007 in a widely controversial poll.
On June 28 2007, President Yar’Adua publicly declared his assets, making him the first ever Nigerian political office holder to do so. He did this in fulfillment of a campaign promise he made to reveal his assets. As such, he did set an example for other Nigerian politicians.
By this declaration, Yar’adua was reported to have had ₦856,452,892 (US$4.3 million) in assets, of which ₦19 million ($0.095 million) belonged to his wife. He also had ₦88,793,269.77 ($0.44 million) in liabilities.
President Yar’adua was a strong believer and proponent of the rule of law in politics. He was a humble and quiet gentleman.
Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan served as Vice President to Yar’adua and running mate in the 2007 Presidential elections which saw him ascending to national prominence on Yar’adua’s passing.
GEJ earlier today eulogized Yar’adua in an emotion-laden message on his Facebook Page:
“Six years ago I lost a dear friend and partner in democracy, peace and progress. President Umaru Musa Yar’adua was a servant leader and a stickler for the rule of law. He may be gone but he is never to be forgotten. I pray for his soul and for him to rest in al Jannah firdaus.”
Notable also was Senate President Bukola Saraki who posted a memorial message on his Facebook page as well:
“It is exactly six years ago since you bid us good bye but it is just like yesterday. Your selflessness, patriotism, integrity and legacies make your memory indelible in our hearts. We remember you now and always as a worthy family man, public servant, Governor and President. May the Almighty Allah continue to grant you peace till we meet to part no more.”
May his soul continue to rest and may his legacies live on. RIP Ex-President Umaru Musa Yar’adua.