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Jonathan in Katsina, says Yar’Adua was a brother and friend

President Jonathan (middle) Hadjia Turai Yar'Adua (left) and the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan at the Yar'Adua Family House today in Katsina.

* Pays condolence visit to deceased president’s family

By AbdulSalam Muhammad

Katsina – President Goodluck  Jonathan, today, in Katsina, declared that he lacked  words to express his personal feelings over the demise of his former  boss, Umaru  Musa Yar’Adua.

Jonathan, on his first official visit outside the  Nigerian seat of power to Katsina since he assumed power, on Thursday, described the late president as a  ‘brother and  friend’ who asked him to join hands  with him to run the affairs of this country.

Yar’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 the  family of Yar’Adua, lamented that  he never expected  that Yar’Adua would die at this time.

“It is sad to express my feelings that  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 peace”, he said.

Mr President Goodluck Jonathan acknowledging cheers at the third day prayer of Late President Yar'Adua held today in Katsina.

The president, who was accompanied on the visit  by the Secretary to the Government of  the Federation, Yayale Ahmed; the Senate president; Senator David Mark; and cabinet members  commiserated  with the family for 45minutes.

Clad in a traditional Hausa/ Fulani gown, Jonathan was received by Yar’Adua’s widow, Hajiya Turai; aged mother of the late president, Hajiya Dada; and  some other relations.

The president, whose words of comfort were translated to Yar’Adua’s  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 soldiers  lined  the 4km road stretch that separated the Katsina International Airport from Yar’Adua’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 governors  wives.

In an interview with Sunday Vanguard, a former member of Yar’Adua campaign team, Alhaji Dau Magaji Aliyu, described the demise of Yar’Adua  as “another lost opportunity to reposition Nigeria”.


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