By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
Former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, among others, have paid their tribute to the late former President, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who died 9 years ago.
Dr. Jonathan, who served as Vice President under Yar’Adua and later became President after his (Yar’Adua’s) death, described the late Yar’Adua as a selfless leader.
Jonathan who hails from Otuoke in Bayelsa State said that Yar’Adua always placed national interest up and above self or ethnic interest.
His words: “On this day nine years ago, I lost a friend, colleague, brother, and boss, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. He was a selfless leader who placed national interest above personal and ethnic gains.
“President Yar’Adua was a man of integrity with a humble spirit who always took upon himself the burden of national reconciliation, peace-building, and democratic consolidation.
“He used the opportunity he had in public service to build bridges of love, foster unity and give hope to Nigerians.
“Today, I remember and celebrate him for the works that he had done. Peace he lived for and homes of peace he built. Democracy he loved and democracy he nurtured.
“We will always remember you for your service. A servant leader truly you remain,” he wrote on his twitter handle.
In the same vein, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar also hailed the former President Yar’Adua as a patriot and a compassionate leader.
Atiku, who was the PDP presidential candidate in the last election, maintained that Nigeria lost a man of peace and a leader with a vision in the person of President Umaru Musa Yar’adua.
In a statement personally signed by him, Atiku said, “On May 5, 2010, Nigeria lost a man of peace and a leader with a vision in the person of President Umaru Musa Yar’adua.
“The late President Yar’adua was a man I was closely connected to. First, because his late brother, the great Tafida of Katsina, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, was my political mentor who taught both myself and Umaru, the ropes in politics.
“Obviously, with Umaru, the apple did not fall far from the tree.
“And secondly, because we worked very, very closely when he was the Governor of Katsina State at the time I was Vice President to our leader, President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“In this period where Nigeria is facing almost unprecedented violence and insecurity, the world will remember that it was President Yar’Adua who bequeathed peace to the Niger Delta through his futuristic and visionary amnesty and rehabilitation programme.
“That single action saw an unprecedented improvement in the performance of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry which led to record-breaking 5% GDP growth.
“Beyond that, Umaru Musa Yar’adua was an advocate and proponent of the Rule of Law and the doctrine of Separation of Powers. His was the only administration that did not suffer from Executive-Legislative tensions in this Fourth Republic.
“I am proud of what he achieved and the fact that such a decent leader was produced by my political family (the Yar’adua political family) and my political party (the Peoples Democratic Party).
“May the Almighty Allah continue to shine His Noor (Light) on the face of our late dear President Umaru Yar’Adua as we mark 9 years of his passing and may Allah (SWT) grant him al-Jannah Firdaus.
“I also pray that God continues to bless the family he left behind. A grateful nation appreciates the labours of their beloved son almost a decade after his passing”, he said.
The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki also extolled the virtues of the former president.
According to him, “Today, I remember the selfless statesman, former President Umaru Musa Yar’adua, who passed on 9-years ago.
“His legacy of integrity as a great leader will always remain indelible in our hearts. May the mercy of Almighty Allah (SWT) continue to be upon him, amen”, he said.
In his tribute, Senator Shehu Sani from Kaduna State, described the late President as a honest man, a true democrat and one who respects the rule of law.
According to him, “President Umaru Musa Yar’adua died on this day nine years ago. He was a honest man,a true democrat, respecter of the rule of law and a humble visionary. May Allah forgive his soul and grant him Aljanna Firdausi”.