It is exactly eight years since the death of Nigeria’s former President Umaru Musa Yar’adua.
Musa Yar’Adua passed away on May 5, 2010 at the Aso Rock presidential villa after his arrival from Saudi Arabia where he went for medical treatment for Pericarditis.He took over from ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo at the peak of the Niger-Delta crisis.
The late Nigerian president was commended by many for being the first leader to publicly declare his personal assets when taking office – setting up a benchmark for comparison later to see if he misappropriated funds.
He spent three years as the president but his health battles meant he could not concentrate on the onerous task of governance.
Goodluck Jonathan assumed the position of acting president on February 9 after a vote by Nigeria’s National Assembly while Yar’adua was still in Saudi Arabia.
While Yar’Adua did not complete a single term, heleft an ineffaceable mark within the short period he presided over the affairs of Nigeria.
Below are six things to remember about Yar’Adua:
1. Flawed election
Yar’Adua admitted that the elections that produced him as president “had shortcomings” and vowed electoral reforms to correct the system. The polls were widely criticized by local and foreign observers as flawed.
2. Assets declaration
Barely 30 days after late president Yar’Adua took office, he voluntarily declared his assets and made a detailed list and worth of the assets.
3. Rule of law
“I think my greatest achievement is the effort to institute a strict culture of respect for the rule of law in Nigeria,” Yar’Adua was citing strict respect for the rule of law as his government’s greatest achievement.
4. “Kitchen cabinet”
Following the problems with his health late president was not active and governance fell to the control of his ‘kitchen cabinet’, as the name went in media circles.
Though his vice Jonathan claimed that he did notknow his boss’ location, members of the kitchen cabinet had full briefs about development.
5. Doctrine of necessity
The Doctrine of Necessity was invoked to justify extra-legal actions in Nigeria.
During Yar’Adua’s absence he failed to formally transfer his powers to his vice-president, Goodluck Jonathan, causing a constitutional crisis in Nigeria.
Jonathan assumed the position of acting president on February 9 after a vote by Nigeria’s National Assembly while the late president was still in Saudi Arabia.
Barely 12 hours after Mr Yar’Adua’s demise he was inaugurated as the new president.
6. Boko Haram insurgency
The government of late Yar’Adua was responsiblefor the prejudicial murder of Muhammad Yusuf, the leader of the Boko Haram sect. This development culminated in the many years that Nigeria has been battling with insurgency.