President Goodluck Jonathan, former Military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida, and the Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema, were among dignitaries who shunned the first Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Memorial Lecture.
The lecture organised by the Chemical Society of Nigeria, which held at the Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, on Thursday witnessed poor attendance.
Babangida was expected to serve as the Chairman of the occasion, Jonathan was announced as the distinguished guest of honour, while Shema was to be the chief Host.
All governors, President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives were also listed as guests of honour.
Apart from the guest lecturer, Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, who sent his Commissioner for Education, none of the aforementioned showed up or sent representatives.
Secretary to the Katsina State Government, Muntari Ibrahim, told the gathering he was standing in for Babangida and Shema.
He said, “I am representing His Excellency, the executive governor of Katsina State, Dr. Ibrahim Shema, and General Babangida who is our leader and former Head- of-State.”
In his remarks on behalf of the Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim said Chemistry remained central to the industrial transformation of any society.
He noted that the knowledge of chemistry served the late Umaru Yar’Adua well as he made judicious use of his background to dissect and prefer solutions to Nigeria’s problems while alive.
In the anniversary lecture, the Kwara State Governor said the late President Yar’Adua lived a life of service to the nation.
He said, “As a nation builder, Yar’Adua sought to run an inclusive government, one which accommodated all relevant geo-political interests and prioritised equity as opposed to sectional interests.
“For example, only an ardent believer in justice, rule of law and the state of equilibrium such as Yar’Adua could have engaged Niger Delta activists who were then involved in a violent campaign for resource control, and restored peace to a region which had known none for years.”
The society conferred a post-humos Fellowship Award on the late President.
While receiving the award on behalf of his late brother, Colonel Abdulaziz Musa Yar’Adua, expressed the family’s gratitude to the society for the Honour done for the late President.