Nigerians and Nigeria Mourn The Death of President Umaru Musa YarAdua
Written by Paul I. Adujie
I join all Nigerians and Nigerian, my nation in mourning the death of
President Umaru Musa YarAdua, this sad news of President YarAdua’s
passing was received on Wednesday evening here in New York City from my
friends Ahaoma Kanu and Magaji Galadima. President YarAdua passed away,
after a long, protracted and very public illness. President Barack Obama
has issued a statement of condolences, on behalf of the government and
people of the United States, in sympathy, with Nigerians and Nigeria, in
this moment of our national bereavement, grief and mourning.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has declared a seven day national
mourning in honor of Mr. YarAdua
President YarAdua was a two time governor of Kastina state before
becoming the elected president of Nigeria in April 2007 and he was
inaugurated as our nation’s president and national symbol, on May 29,
2007. President YarAdua’s precarious health was a very public matter, in
both national and international sense.
It will be recalled that our president’s infirmity, which was known by
many, saw to his hospitalization overseas for an extended period of
time. President YarAdua’s prolonged stay in a foreign hospital became a
vexing political and constitutional issue for Nigeria. There were
tensions and fractiousness as a consequence of his physical absence and
speculations were rife as to his continued fitness, physical and
President YarAdua who left Nigeria on November 23rd 2009 in a medical
emergency, returned to Nigeria on February 23rd 2010 at dawn and under
very controversial protocol and surrounding circumstances.
Since retuning to Nigeria from hospitalization and medical care in Saudi
Arabia, President YarAdua did not formally return to the presidency and
presidential duties. He was however sighted a few times by a select
few; He was reportedly seen by family and friends, a select retinue of
political associates and religious leaders . But for the Nigerian public
in general, he remained unheard, unseen and incommunicado.
President YarAdua did not appear publicly to the Nigerian public,
whether in still pictures or in video. He did not meet with Nigerian
journalists nor make public statements or pronouncements through the
press or media in Nigeria.
President YarAdua who was a college professor before his foray into
politics, was 58 years old. He is survived by his wife, first lady,
Turai YarAdua, and their adult children.
President YarAdua is dead and his passing should be marked with a show
of national unity, as our nation mourns the death of our president.
Nigerians must and should show utmost respect, and accord utmost dignity
to our departed president, his family, friends and political
associates. This is not the time for rancor and bitterness. This is not
the time for any schisms, chasms and intrigues. There are important
Nigerian national and strategic interests ahead, and continuing in the
hot pursuit of Nigeria’s worthy causes should be the only focus of
national importance after the interment of our departed symbol.
As our nation mourn our departed president, Nigerians at home and abroad
should engage in sober reflection and thorough soul searching and
circumspection. President YarAdua should be given a befitting burial fit
for a king, and properly put, a burial, fit for a leader and symbol of
our nation, barring religious limitations and exceptions.
Nigerians and Nigeria will show our sincere sympathies and our empathies
to the first lady, Mrs. Turai YarAdua, and the children of the YarAduas
and the entire YarAdua families and friends.
This is a teachable moment for all Nigerians at home and abroad, this is
the moment during which we must demonstrate our collective humanity and
the essence of human refinement. We must put our political opinions and
policy differences aside.
Our utterances, pronouncements and actions must be in accord with
everything which are illustrative of the good people, the hospitable and
charitable people which Nigerians are. Nigerians must sheath swords and
hatchets during this time of national grief, bereavement and mourning.
May the goodness and love from 150 million Nigerians at home and abroad,
afford the first lady, the YarAdua’s children, the entire YarAdua
family, friends and associate the fortitude and strength to bear this
irreparable loss. In this grieving, lonely and difficult moment, are
hearts and supports are generously offered to the family of President
Nigerians and Nigeria mourn the death of our national symbol since May
29, 2007, President Umaru Musa YarAdua, GCFR, may his soul rest in