Nigerians are celebrating the memory of a former president, Umaru Musah Yar’Adua, who died in office nine years ago today.
The one-time Katsina State governor is revered as by far the best leader of Africa’s most populous nation since the return to multi-party democracy in 1999.
He was the second civilian president under Nigeria’s current constitution. He won controversial polls after his predecessor – Olusegun Obansanjo’s – plans to extend his stay from 1999 – 2007 got stiff opposition from the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He took office in 2007 and led for 3 years. He died aged 58 in Saudi Arabia – and was flown back for burial. The known cause of death was pericarditis – inflammation of a membrane around the heart.
He was succeeded by his then vice-president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Jonathan completed Yar Adua’s term and won a substantive term in 2011. He failed to secure a final term in 2015 after he was defeated by incumbent Muhammadu Buhari.
Jonathan was among the first to post a message of remembrance of his former boss on social media. The outgoing Senate President, Bukola Saraki; former vice president Atiku Abubakar and others have since done same.
Social media posts celebrating the late Umaru Musah Yar’Aduatext
President Umaru Musa Yar’adua died on this day nine years ago.He was a honest man,a true democrat,respecter of the rule of law and a humble visionary.May Allah forgive his soul and grant him Aljanna Firdausi.Amin.— Senator Shehu Sani (@ShehuSani) May 5, 2019
#NIGERIA: On this day in 2010, President UMARU YAR’ADUA passed on. He was in office for less than 3 years, but he left a legacy as an honest and selfless leader, a democrat who truly believed in the rule of law, the peace-maker who calmed the Niger Delta. We will not forget. pic.twitter.com/I4v2MMSEwH— Nnamdi Obasi (@NnamdiObasi) May 5, 2019
This man is umaru musa yar’adua our best president since the return of democracy in 1999. He never claimed to be saint he Doe’s not see all his country men as corrupt he come to govern with ideas 7 point agenda and he knows precisely what to do, May Allah have mercy on him Amin. pic.twitter.com/460OKTQjkk— ALHAJI MALAM POP AND PLAIN (@Danmasaani) May 5, 2019