On May 5, 2010, Nigeria lost a man of peace and a leader with a vision in the person of President Umaru Musa Yar’adua.
The late President Yar’adua was a man I was closely connected to. First, because his late brother, the great Tafida of Katsina, Shehu Musa Yar’adua, was my political mentor who taught both myself and Umaru, the ropes in politics.
Obviously, with Umaru, the apple did not fall far from the tree.
And secondly, because we worked very, very closely when he was the Executive Governor of Katsina state at the time I was Vice President to our leader, President Olusegun Obasanjo.
In this period where Nigeria is facing almost unprecedented violence and insecurity, the world will remember that it was President Yar’adua who bequeathed peace to the Niger Delta through his futuristic and visionary amnesty and rehabilitation program that saw militants turn their swords to ploughshares.
That single action saw an unprecedented improvement in the performance of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry which led to record-breaking 5% GDP growth.
Beyond that, Umaru Musa Yar’adua was an advocate and proponent of the Rule of Law and the doctrine of Separation of Powers. His was the only administration that did not suffer from Executive-Legislative tensions in this Fourth Republic.
I am proud of what he achieved and the fact that such a decent leader was produced by my political family (the Yar’adua political family) and my political party (the Peoples Democratic Party).
May the soul of President Umaru Musa Yar’adua continue to rest in peace as we mark 9 years of his passing and may Allah (SWT) grant him al-Jannah Firdaus.
May God bless the family he left behind. A grateful nation continues to enjoy from the labours of their beloved son almost a decade after his passing.
Waziri Adamawa, Vice President of Nigeria, 1999-2007.