BEVERLY HILLS, May 05, (THEWILL) – Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday wrote in memory of his predecessor and former principal, the Late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
Jonathan, who took over the mantle of Nigerian presidency from the deceased on this day 11 years ago, eulogised on social media a man he celebrated as a peacemaker, nation builder and democrat.
THEWILL recalls that the Former Governor of Katsina State from 1999-2007, Yar’Adua died in Aso Rock on May 5, 2010, after a protracted illness that had taken him out of the country.
He was aged 58.
Writing in memory of his late boss, Jonathan said: ”Today, I celebrate my boss, friend, colleague and brother, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who departed this world 11 years ago.
“As politicians, we shared a common vision of a peaceful, united and just nation. President Yar’Adua kept faith with this vision, channelling his strength and time in pursuit of an egalitarian society, until his last breath.
“Although out of our sight, his legacies live with us and his memory we will continue to cherish.
“We will always remember him as a peacemaker, nation builder and democrat whose timeline was defined by virtues of service, peace, truth and love.”
THEWILL writes that His father, Musa Yar’Adua, was the Minister for Lagos in the First Republic.
With his wife, Turai, the late President had seven children, comprising five daughters and two sons.
In addition, the former President had also been married to Hauwa Umar Radda from 1992 to 1997, with two children.
Three of his daughters got married to former Governors.
Zainab married former Governor of Kebbi State, Usman Saidu Nasamu Dakingari.
Nafisa married Isa Yuguda, former Governor of Bauchi State.
Maryam is married to Ibrahim Shema, the former Governor of Katsina State.
When an ill Yar’Adua travelled out from Nigeria in November 2009 for treatment in Saudi Arabia, his absence created a power vacuum as he had not transferred power to VP Jonathan. A “cabal” loyal to Yar’Adua usurped power and ran the country, albeit illegally.
Finally, on 10th February 2010, the Senate rolled out the “Doctrine of Necessity,” forcefully transferring the powers of the President to VP Jonathan as Acting President.
However, the experience led to a constitutional amendment that set a time limit of 21 days in which the President can be absent from office, or unable to perform his functions, without handing over power to the Vice President.
Section 145(2) of the 1999 Constitution, says:
“In the event that the President is unable or fails to transmit the written declaration mentioned in subsection (1) of this section within 21 days, the National Assembly shall, by a resolution made by a simple majority of the vote of each House of the National Assembly, mandate the Vice-President to perform the functions of the office of the President as Acting President until the President transmits a letter to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives that he is now available to resume his functions as President.’’