Today marks exactly seven years since the 13th Head of State of Nigeria, President Umar Musa Yar’adua passed away after suffering from kidney related illness.
Yar’adua’s death was preceded by a series of illnesses with many Nigerians expressing their uncertainty in Yar’adua’s mental and physical ability to lead the country.
Read a biography below of the late President below….
Umara Musa Yar’adua was born Katsina State in 1951.
He started his primary education at Rafukka Primary School, Katsina in 1958. He left Rafukka for Dutsinma Boarding Primary Schoolin 1962 from where he completed his primary education in 1964.
Between 1965 and 1969, Umaru Yar’adua schooled atGovernment College, Keffiin present-day Nasarawa State for his secondary education. He then moved to the famous Barewa College, Zaria for his Higher School Certificate from 1970 to 1971. For his University education, Yar’adua attended the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria from 1972 to 1975 where he obtained a degree in Education/Chemistry. He returned to the same University from 1978-1980 for his M.Sc Degree in Analytical Chemistry.
Yar’adua’s working career began at the Holy Child College, Lagos for the mandatory one year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) between 1975 and 1976. He was a Lecturer at theKatsina College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria between 1976 and 1979. He moved toKatsina Polytechnic, also as a Lecturer in 1979 and was there until 1983 when he left the public service.
His movement to the private sector started at Sambo Farms Ltdin Funtua, Katsina State as its pioneer General Manager from 1983 to 1989. He served as a Board Member, Katsina State Farmers’ Supply Company from 1984 to 1985, Member Governing Council of Katsina College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria andKatsina Polytechnicfrom 1978-1983, Board Chairman of Katsina State Investment and Property Development Company (KIPDECO) between 1994-1996.
He served as a Director of many companies, includingHabib Nigeria Bank Ltd. (1995-1999),Lodigiani Nigeria Ltd. (1987-1999),Hamada Holdings(1983-1999) andMadara Ltd. Vom, Jos (1987-1999). He was also the Chairman, Nation House Press Ltd, Kaduna between 1995 and 1999.
During the Second Republic (1979–83), Yar’adua was a member of the leftist People’s Redemption Party. During the Transition Programme of President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Yar’adua was one of the foundation members of thePeoples Front, a political association under the leadership of his elder brother, the late Major-General Shehu Musa Yar’adua. That association later fused to form the Social Democratic Party. He was a member of the 1988 Constituent Assembly. He was a member of the party’s National Caucus and the SDP State Secretary in Katsina and contested the 1991 Governorship election, but lost toSaidu Barda, the candidate of theNational Republican Conventionand an ally of Babangida. In 1999, he ran for the same position under PDP and won. He was re-elected in 2003.
In December 2006, Yar’adua was chosen as the presidential candidate of the ruling party PDP for the April 2007 election. He and then running mate Goodluck Jonathanwon the election and were subsequently sworn in on Democracy Day May 29, 2007.
Yar’adua suffered from several illnesses while in office. He left Nigeria on November 23, 2009, and was reported to be receiving treatment for pericarditis at a clinic in Saudi Arabia. He was not seen in public again, and his absence created a dangerous power vacuum in Nigeria.
On February 24 2010, Yar’adua returned to Abuja. His state of health was unclear, but there was speculation that he was still on a life support machine. Various political and religious figures in Nigeria had visited him during his illness saying he would make a recovery.
Yar’adua died on May 5, 2010 at Aso Rock Presidential Villa. An Islamic burial took place on May 6 in his hometown.
Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, in his tribute, wrote, “What passes for the Nigerian nation is nothing more than a tragic arena, and Yar’adua is only the latest tragic figure. The vampires, including those within his own family, turned him into a mere inert resource for their diabolical schemes’.