—UMARU MUSA: My A1 President, by Abdullahi Yusuf Tela
YBTC News—Despite his emergence from an alleged controversial general election in 2007 as an anointed candidate, Umaru Musa Yar’adua is arguably one of the best Presidents Nigeria has ever produced. Although his reign as head of state never lasted for long but his leadership qualities as well as his desire for Nigeria to be a peaceful and promising nation for the masses has earned him a longlasting recognition when compared to his predecessors and successors in the country.
His achievements speaks volume compared to his mild nature and health issues. Yar’adua should be celebrated everyday not only as a former President but because of his love for Nigeria. His love for peace to reign made his rein peaceful and undoubtedly enjoyable.
Yar’adua, as often referred to, was a former Katsina state Governor who became the President on the thrust of his 7- Point Agenda. They include- Energy, Security, Wealth Creation, Education, Land Reform, Mass Transit and Niger Delta.
As usual, Yar’adua was not spared from criticisms across the country from notable critics, intellectuals as well as the media. Thus, these criticisms redefined his style of leadership into one that he has to accept the fact that he was Nigeria’s number one man and as such had to take charge of things. One of the criticisms he faced funny as at it may seem was that he married off his two daughters to then serving Governors in the North. Another was the issue of cabal in his cabinet.
One thing for sure that Yar ‘adua must be me remembered for was the arrest of Muhammad Yusuf, the Supreme Leader of the dreaded Boko Haram sect. When Yar ‘adua noticed the earlier deadly act of Boko Haram, he ordered the arrest of the sect’s leader, Yusuf. However, till date the killing of Yusuf by the Nigeria Police still remains a mystery. It was later reported that some of those involved in his murder were arrested. That uncalled for and unwise decision by the Nigeria Police has transformed into our biggest threat of the day.
Moreover, before Yar’adua’s arrival in the Villa as the president, the headache to every sitting president were the Niger Delta Militants. But as he stepped into the Niger Delta issues with wisdom and diplomacy, the militancy carried out by the Niger Delta Militants became a story for another day.
It can be recalled that in October,2009, one of the prominent commanders of Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo accompanied by former Governor of Delta state, Emmanuel Uduaghan met with former President Yar’adua at the Villa to sign the Amnesty deal for the Niger Delta militants.
Again, his integrity was on display after he became the first seating President to ever declare his assets. Yar’adua was the first person that reignited the idea of dredging the River Niger after 40 years. Also, the Katsina state born former President initiated the Abuja-Kaduna rail route which was commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016.
Earlier on I mentioned he was an anointed candidate, but inspite of that, Yar’adua managed to reverse the sale of assets by his Predecessor and Anointer, Olusegun Obasanjo for the interest of the nation.
Some key achievements of Yar’adua as published by Weekly Trust, 5th May, 2011, in a one year tribute were that “he saved the jobs of over 160,000 Federal workers penciled for sack under various pretenses. Not only that, he released the 10 billion- Lagos state Local Government Council’s Fund which Obasanjo sat on despite court orders. Yar’adua went ahead and reversed the increment of Value Added Tax (VAT) from 10% to five as well as reduced the hike in fuel price from N75 to N65.”
Yar’adua could not finish his tenure of four years but his esteemed legacy will never be forgotten in the history of the country. May his gentle soul continue to rest in perfect peace. Ameen