Musa Yar’Adua: Nigeria’s Jewel
Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was born on the 16 August 1951 to Musa Yar’Adua, the former Minister of Lagos Affairs in the first Republic. After his primary education, he attended Government College, Keffi. Upon completing his secondary education, he gained admission to study Education and Chemistry at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He furthered his education and earned an M.Sc in Analytical Chemistry.
Although Yar’Adua’s first contact with the Labour force was as an education teacher. After working as a lecturer in several institutions, he moved into the corporate sector from 1983 to 1999. During this time, he became actively involved in politics.
In 1999, he became governor of Katsina state and has often been described as the best governor in the state’s history by the people including governor Ibrahim Shema. Not only did his eight-year tenure not have any controversies, but he also ensured that there was free education at the pre-tertiary levels.
In 2007, he ran for president under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and was declared winner amid controversial circumstances. Within a short time, Nigeria witnessed a transformation.
Some of his notable achievements as president include the declaration of assets; judicial freedom; initiation of the Niger-Delta Amnesty Programme; the initiation of the Abuja-Kaduna rail route and the dredging of River Niger.
In 2009, he left for Saudi Arabia to receive treatment for pericarditis (inflammation of the sac-like tissue that surround the heart) never to be seen in public again. In January 2010, the Senate using “the doctrine of necessity” handed over powers to the Vice President Goodluck Jonathan and made him acting president. Yar’Adua returned in February but was declared dead on the 5th of May.
Goodluck Jonathan speaking on his death said, “Nigeria has lost the jewel on its crown.”