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Mourning late President Yar'Adua

May 7, 2010, 11:01 AM

The death of the Nigerian President, Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, is a great loss to not only his family, but to whole of Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

The late President would forever be remembered for what he lived for during his tenure as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


He became the first civilian leader in Nigeria to take over from another, after winning controversial polls in 2007. He admitted that the election that brought him to power was not perfect, as there were loopholes and lapses, but pledged to do his utmost to embark on political reforms in Nigeria.

The former chemistry teacher was also the first Nigerian leader for 40 years to be educated up to university level.

A Muslim by faith, he was also an ex-governor from the northern state of Katsina. He promised a long list of reforms at his inauguration - tackling corruption, reforming the inadequate power sector and the flawed electoral system. He has, indeed, tried hard in dealing with the Niger Delta problem, fighting corruption, effecting banking sector reforms, among others.

All these are, in fact, embedded in his famous 7 points agenda. He is known to be quiet, but responsible. As a matter of fact, he was part of the few elite, who had publicly declared his assets before the entire nation.

He met militant leaders in the Niger Delta and convinced them and thousands of their fighters to give up their weapons, during a three-month amnesty in 2009, giving hope of peace at last for the poverty-stricken region.

His efforts in steering the affairs of a big country like Nigeria needs commendation.

At the level of ECOWAS, the late President Yar'Adua would also be remembered for his commitment to the sub-regional bloc.

We hope the people of Nigeria would appreciate his efforts, and all what he has done for them during his tenure as Head of State in Africa's most populous nation.

The fact that he is being praised by world leaders, for instance, US President Barack Obama, and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, speaks volumes of his stance in the political evolution of the country.

Nigerians, indeed, have lost an inspiring role model! 

His death is once again another reminder to other leaders that no matter how long one lives on earth, we would all one day leave the stage for others to carry on.

Thus, the need for honesty and modesty in governing our nations, which qualities the late Nigerian leader was said to possess.

We pray that his gentle soul rests in perfect peace.