Seven years after his death, Nigerians have continued to remember former President Umaru Yar’Adua, who died in office on May 5, 2010.
He took over from ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo in 2007 but his health challenges did not allow him complete his tenure.
He spent three years in power from May 29, 2007 – May 5, 2010 when he passed away after a chronic illness.
Following his death, his deputy, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan took over the presidency.
Short as his tenure was, Yar’Adua achieved a lot which endeared Nigerians to him and for these reasons, he cannot be forgotten.
NAIJ.com has compiled some of his greatest achievements in the short time he was Nigeria’s president.
1. Assets declaration
Yar’Adua goes into history as the first Nigerian president to publicly declare his assets. He declared his asset barely 30 days after he took over power. He voluntarily gave details of his assets and their worth, fulfilling a pre-election promise he made. This was intended to set an example for other Nigerian politicians and discourage corruption.
2. Niger Delta crisis
The late president came at a time the Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) was wrecking havoc in the Southern creeks. He would be remembered for how he handled the many years of youth restiveness in the oil rich Niger-Delta region. He employed constructive dialogue and succeeded in making the militants surrender their arms in return for amnesty. He initiated the Niger-Delta Amnesty Programme.
3. Rule of law
He took over at a time the country was still smarting from the serial disregard for the rule of law under his predecessor Obasanjo. He showed he was different and he strictly adhered to the rule of law principle.
4. River Niger and Abuja-Kaduna rail route projects
He initiated the dredging of River Niger, a project that was abandoned for decades and also initiated the Abuja-Kaduna rail route.
5. Bold enough to reverse Obasanjo’s decisions
Some of Obasanjo’s decisions which were considered to be against the national interest were reversed. One of such was the sale of the country’s three refineries which would have been auctioned to some businessmen. He overturned these privatizations for being corrupt.
6. Courts regained their freedom
During his short tenure, Yar’Adua gave the judiciary a voice in Nigeria.
7. Returning unspent funds to the national treasury
Yar’adua pioneered the policy of returning unspent funds to the national treasury at the end of the fiscal year.
Paying tribute to his former boss, Jonathan described him as a peacemaker who brought peace to the Niger Delta region of Nigeria and would forever be remembered for this.
The man in the NAIJ.com video below talks about the administration of ex-President Jonathan. According to him, he was not a bad president.