* Pays condolence visit to deceased presidentâ€™s family
By AbdulSalam Muhammad
Katsina – President GoodluckÂ Jonathan, today, in Katsina, declared that he lackedÂ words to express his personal feelings over the demise of his formerÂ boss, UmaruÂ Musa Yarâ€™Adua.
Jonathan, on his first official visit outside theÂ Nigerian seat of power to Katsina since he assumed power, on Thursday, described the late president as aÂ â€˜brother andÂ friendâ€™ who asked him to join handsÂ with him to run the affairs of this country.
Yarâ€™Adua, the 13th Nigerian leader, died in office, on Wednesday, after a protracted illness that forced him out of circulation since last November.
Jonathan, who was in Katsina to commiserate with theÂ family of Yarâ€™Adua, lamented thatÂ he never expectedÂ that Yarâ€™Adua would die at this time.
â€œIt is sad to express my feelings thatÂ my boss, my brother , my friend who asked me to join him to run the affairs of this country will leave me behind at this time . I lack words to express my personal feelings, God knows. May his soul rest in peaceâ€, he said.
The president, who was accompanied on the visitÂ by the Secretary to the Government ofÂ the Federation, Yayale Ahmed; the Senate president; Senator David Mark; and cabinet membersÂ commiseratedÂ with the family for 45minutes.
Clad in a traditional Hausa/ Fulani gown, Jonathan was received by Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s widow, Hajiya Turai; aged mother of the late president, Hajiya Dada; andÂ some other relations.
The president, whose words of comfort were translated to Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™sÂ aged mother by Ahmed, induced tears from her.
The visit took place amid tight security as soldiers believed to be drafted from the presidential guards took charge and brought commercial activities in the city to a stand still.
The soldiersÂ linedÂ the 4km road stretch that separated the Katsina International Airport from Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s quarters in the city which was cordoned to avoid security breach.
The first lady, Dame Patient Goodluck, joined her predecessor in office who was flanked by former first ladies, Maryam Abacha, Justice Fati Abubakar, and some governorsÂ wives.
In an interview with Sunday Vanguard, a former member of Yarâ€™Adua campaign team, Alhaji Dau Magaji Aliyu, described the demise of Yarâ€™AduaÂ as â€œanother lost opportunity to reposition Nigeriaâ€.