Day in, day out, every soul will surely taste the bitterness of death. Whosoever has come to the end of his life, a second will not be added to him. May 5th, 2009 will remain unforgettable in the history of Nigeria because of the shocked news Nigerians received. It was on that day the then President and Commander in Chief of the armed forces Mallam Umaru Musa Yar’adua answered the call of Almighty Allah, after a protracted illness. Today is exactly nine years after he left us in this sinful world, but he is still fresh in our memory as if it was just yesterday he departed.
As we all know, Yar’adua was (s)elected as president in 2007 through an election that was full of malpractices. Though, Yar’adua himself admitted that the (s)election that brought him to power was characterized by an unprecedented election malpractices in the history of Nigeria, and that necessitated him to constitute a committee under the chairmanship of the former chief Jutice of the federation justice Muhammad Lawal Uwais to look into the matter and come up with a lasting panacea to the problem. And he (Yar’adua) also promised to conduct a free and fair election in 2011(unfortunately, he did not live to witness it) that will be accepted by all Nigerians and the world in general, but he did not live long to actualize his dreams.
When he came to power in 2007, late Yar’adua showed a good sense of respect to all the arms of government by allowing them to discharge their responsibilities without disrupting them. The judicial arm, which is the last hope for the poor man enjoyed full autonomy durinf his tenure. This was corroborated by the fact that he (Yar’adua) remained indifferent when the election tribunals nullified the (s)election of his party candidates (PDP) at various level of government on the ground of electoral malpractices. The former C-in-C, without any iota of doubt showed a sense of maturity in that respect which was never obtained in Obasanjo’s era and that of Goodluck Jonathan.
During his lifetime, Yar’adua was cool headed unassuming person who gave everybody his due respect. A man who stood for justice, fair play and equity. Surely, he will be remembered for his quiet dignity, sincere believe in rule of law, commitment to Deeping democracy and landmark resolution of Niger Delta crisis, etc.
No doubt, Katsina state and Nigeria has lost an honest leader who meant well for his people. He is no longer with us physically, but Nigerians would surely be guided by his spirit of exemplified humility, and they will never relent in praying for the repose of his soul.
It was largely during his tenure that there was peace in the country and we never had a bomb blast in more than two years that he spent steering the mantle of leadership in Nigeria as its number one citizen. Unlike what is obtainable now, bomb blasts in all angles of the country, killing of innocent people by police on high roads, etc. it’s very shameful that even the first bomb blast took place at eagle square on October 1st, 2010 when Nigeria was celebrating her 50th anniversary as a sovereign nation- followed by the one on Xmas Eve, another one on election Eve in 2011 and during election in some part of the country, to mention but few, where several people lost their lives and many were injured. Imagine what we used to hear before in Afghanistan , Baghadaza, and Somalia , we are now hearing and witnessing it in our own dear country.
This is certainly a big problem and if care is not taken, Nigeria will in no distant time (God forbid) become another Baghdad, especially Borno State where the case is still more rampant.
It’s safe now to say, without fear of contradiction that insecurity has become a daily business in Nigeria and Nigerians are used to it. The present administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari needs to do more in order to find a lasting solution to these problems. Kidnapping menace is on the rise across Nigeria and Kaduna-Abuja road has now become the most dangerous road to ply by Nigerians, the killings by armed bandist in Zamfara, Katsina and other part of the country has rendered many children orphans and turned a couple number of women to widows.
Sadly, no one is longer safe in the country, both the rich and poor. Is this how we are going to continue? If things should continue the way they are now, what will Nigeria become in the next few years? Only time can tell. It’s my candid opinion that the Northern part will suffer a lot, because the so-called northern leaders have sold the right and divinity of their people to greedy and irresponsible politicians.
May the gentle soul of late Umaru Musa Yar’adua continue to rest in peace, Ameen.
Dabo writes from Zaria, and he tweets @muntakadabo