Yar'Adua is dead

THE SUN Newspaper

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua is dead. He was aged 58. Yar’Adua passed away at about 9.38 p.m. on Tuesday in the presidential villa, Abuja, losing the battle against the protracted illness, which had kept him out of office since November 23 last year.

Daily Sun gathered that Yar’Adua breathed his last with his wife, Turai by his bedside.
A former minister who is very close to the Yar’Adua confirmed that the president had passed on, saying: “God has called him.” Presidential spokesman, Olusegun Adeniyi also confirmed the president’s death.

Sources hinted soon after the sad event that there was disagreement as to whether to bury him in Abuja or Katsina. The argument, it was learnt, was whether the Islamic tradition would accommodate a state burial, which would involve some kind of ceremony.

Adeniyi, however, said the remains would be buried today in accordance with Islamic tradition.
Yar’Adua took ill last November 23 and traveled to Saudi Arabia for treatment of what officials described as acute pericarditis, an inflammation of the covering of the heart, which medical experts said could result in fatal complication. His trip, however, sparked a constitutional crisis, as he did not formally cede presidential powers to his Deputy, Goodluck Jonathan.
The nation was also kept in the dark on the true state of his health with officials merely saying that he was responding to treatment.

Jonathan eventually assumed the presidency on February 9 as Acting President after the two chambers of the National Assembly conferred him with the powers to wield presidential powers. The arrangement was made with the possibility of Yar’Adua returning to office if he regained his health. President Yar’Adua returned to Abuja from Saudi Arabia in a controversial circumstance on February 24.Unofficial reports that he was recovering were not confirmed. He did not appear in public and neither did he assume power. Yar’Adua became president in 2007 after a controversial election won by the Peoples Democratic Party.

He gained public accolades when he admitted that the election, which brought him to power was imperfect. He sought to institute transparency by publicly declaring his personal assets.
He also introduced the seven-point agenda, which sought to tackle the chief problems confronting the world’s most populous black nation.

He had barely achieved a meaningful success in the critical areas of power supply, Niger Delta crisis and corruption, with his main success reference points being the entrenchment of the rule of law and the amnesty to Niger Delta militants.

Meanwhile, Jonathan last night summoned ministers and service chiefs to the villa for an emergency meeting, while his wife and the women affairs minister were said to have gone to see Turai.
Reports that the Acting President’s family was initially moved to somewhere in Gwarimpa could not immediately be confirmed. However, as at the time of compiling this report, spokesman of Jonathan, Ima Niboro, was addressing journalists on the development while today, Thursday, has been declared a public holiday, just as the presidency also declared a seven-day mourning period for the late Yar’Adua..

Jonathan is also expected to be sworn in as president today.

One of the earliest reactions came in from former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, who spoke through his spokesman, Prince Kassim Afegbua. In his tribute to the late president, IBB said: “It’s pathetic and utterly painful. Every death bring with it tears of pain and sorrow, of grief and discomfiture. He battle with death like a valiant. He was great in death and graceful in life. He represented our daily struggles in life’s bramble forest. We salute his courage. May Allah give the family, the nation and the acting president the strength and of heart to bear with this sorrowful end”. He prayed the almighty Allah to grant Yar’Adua “eternal rest and paradise in the hereafter”
Governor Gbenga Daniel has commiserated with the acting president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs Turai Yar’Adua, the entire nation and prayed that God would grant all Nigerians the fortitude to bear the loss.

According to him, “Yar’Adua’s death is a monumental loss at a critical time our nation’s history.Yar’Adua was a human and patriotic leader who in spite of the challenges of his health worked assiduously for the growth and development of Nigeria.

His Osun State counterpart, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola described the president’s demise as a very painful national loss. While praying for the repose of his soul, he said: “Yar’Adua lead a life of a good muslim and would be missed by the entire nation.

First executive governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun said he received the news with great sadness.
“Sadness because those close to him stripped him of all the sympathy and dignity our ailing president deserved. Most annoying was the fact all this was done for their own selfish ends. He met well for our nation but clearly was limited by his ailment. Now he finally is at peace beyond the reach of unfeeling associates. May Allah grant him sweet repose,” Oyegun prayed.

Similarly, Bayelsa Governor, Timipre Sylva has reacted to the news of Yar’Adua death, describing it as a national tragedy.
Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Doifie Ola last night, Sylva described Yar’Adua “as a great Nigerian leader who had the best intention for the country.
According to him, Yar’Adua was a straight and honest politician. There are not many of his kind. It is unfortutae that due to his sickness, he could not effectively implement his well thought-out programmes and policies.”

In his own reaction, Imo State Governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim said: the death of Yar’Adua was a big loss and a national calamity. The governor continued: “He was a gentle man, an honest politician. Nigerian has lost a tribalise leader who meant well for the masses. We all prayed and hoped he would recover from the sickness. May Allah accept his soul”.

Willy Ezugwu
However, Willy Ezugwu, Secretary-General of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), the umbrella body of opposition parties, was more practical. He said:
It’s a pity, but his has laid to rest a confusion about his heath. Nigeria should move forward.” Also reacting, Mr. Osita Okechukwu enjoined the Yar’Adua’s family to take solace in the truism that we are sojourners on this earth.

Teslim Balogun
Senate Majority leader, Teslim Folarin, who spoke from the villa said: “Its very sad, we’re all saddened because we’ve lost our President. He was very good man, very deep for those of us who were close to him, but for his health, he would have done well for this country. Nigerians will certainly mess him.

Action Congress
On its part, the Action Congress, through its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed: “It is with a heavy heart that we receive the news of the death of the President. We condole with acting president, the first lady and the family. It is significant that Acting President Goodluck Jonathan will be sworn in tomorrow. This shows that we are following the path of constitutionalism and deepening our democracy. May allah grant him Al-jannah.”


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