14 Years After Yar’adua’s Death: Nigeria Would’ve Been Much Better, Says Aide


Yar’adua earlier served as governor of Katsina State between 1999 and 2007, during which he succeeded in executing landmark projects and also turned around the civil service.

Years after his death, many of his family members, friends, political associates, and some Nigerians, are remembering him with nostalgia.

Some of those who spoke to Daily Trust recollected his personal traits and leadership qualities, and called on present leaders to imbibe such values so that Nigeria can develop.

His cousin and childhood friend, with whom they grew up together, Engr. Abu Aminu Yar’Adua, said basic honesty was late President Yar’Adua’s distinctive feature.

“We are first cousins. His father, late Matawalli Musa and my father, late Aminu, are of the same father and mother,” he said.

My father literally brought up late Musa Yar’adua because he is his elder brother. Umar and I were agemates, although I am two years older than him, but as far as the family is concerned, they bunched us together.

“Right from our childhood up to our youthful age, Umaru had that leadership instinct. He had a great sense of humanity and humility. He was a focused person and whatever task Umaru was given, he would carry it out with utmost diligence, dedication and honesty; and that basic honesty is his distinctive feature,” he said.

He said as far as politics is concerned, Umaru was the co-founder of the Katsina Students and Old boys Association, which was the first Katsina province-wide organisation, which short-lived but was later revived by late Umaru, and it served as the springboard for his venture into politics.

He added that the good attitude displayed by late Umaru and many others among the family, was the outcome of the home training they received.

Dr Mustapha Muhammad Inuwa served in different capacities under the administration of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua when he was the governor of Katsina State. He served as the General Manager of Katsina State Transport Authority (KSTA), Chairman Caretaker Committee of Danmusa Local Government Area (LGA), Commissioner of Education, and later the Secretary to the State Government (SSG).

Responding to a question on the kind of qualities that the late president possessed which present crop of leaders should emulate, Dr Inuwa said the late president was unique.

“That would be very difficult because, for leaders to wear the shoes of late Umaru Yar’Adua, they must be completely non-materialistic, not self-centered, prudent and incorruptible”, Dr Inuwa, who also served as SSG under Governor Aminu Bello Masari said.

He said these are some traits that are hard to be combined by an individual.

“Umaru didn’t bother about amassing wealth, which is quite different from what is happening in the current leadership. So, it is only when you can combine these personal traits that you will be able to wear his shoes. But when you are looking for wealth, to own houses, to travel abroad, to own this and that, there is no way you can be like Umaru,” he said.

He added that Umaru was a frank and straightforward person when it comes to the issue of governance.

He said Yar’adua was “a focused leader who was always thinking of what to be done and how best to do it; always thinking on how to achieve success even if it was through his political opponent. He would keep politics aside so long as he believes in your capacity to do it.

“He was a leader with high sense of respect; he had self-respect and he respected others. He was a leader who really provided leadership. He could listen to you for an hour and he will appreciate your positions on issues even if they don’t tally with his own positions. He will respect and accept superior arguments on issues. This, I can count many instances, either in politics or in governance.

Late President Yar’Adua was an incorruptible person. I cannot remember an instance where he did anything for his personal benefit. When I was in the ministry of education, we awarded a lot of contracts, but not a single did late Umaru, as governor, awarded for his personal interest or just for someone to benefit personally.

“He had never directed me to do anything that tilted toward dishonesty. He believed in following due process, following the rules and regulations and with him, you have no problem with EFCC, ICPC or whatever, because all you are doing was in order. He was an honest person and every day I remember him, I believe that Nigeria has really lost a leader who could have turned this country into a better place,” he said.

Asked where Nigeria would have been assuming Yar’adua lived and served for two terms, he said, “Nigeria would have been a completely different country.”

He added, “Another quality of leadership of late Yar’Adua was his ability to identify those who have the capacity to deliver, and he would give them all the encouragement they needed to discharge their responsibilities.

“He was also a leader who was focused and he had foresight. He could do things that would benefit people even if it will take years to complete. He would take a decision even if at that moment it sounds unpopular. If he believed it will benefit the people, he will go ahead and execute it, and eventually people will come to realise that it was the best decision.

(Daily Trust)

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.