Yarâ€™Adua remains leaves Aso Rock for Kastina
By Daniel Idonor
President Goodluck Jonathan has declared that Late President Umaru Muasa Yarâ€™Adua has left a vacuum with his integrity, commitment to due process and the rule of law and his deep sense of patriotism to the nation, saying he will miss him the most.
The President made this during his sworn in ceremony as theÂ substantive president of the country following Wednesdayâ€™s death of ailing President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua.
In a speech after his swearingÂ Â in, President Jonathan said, he was shocked by the news of the death of his boss and friend, with whom they were elected in 2007 to govern the country.
â€˜My dear brothers and sisters, it is with deep sense of loss and profound sorrow that I received the news of the passing on of His Excellency, President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™ Adua, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.Â Â Our President passed away peacefully in the Presidential villa in Abuja yesterday evening, the 5th day of May 2010. While we submit to the will of God as a people of faith, this sad event has placed our nation in deep mourningâ€™.
The president condole with the former first lady, Hajiya Turai and the entire Yarâ€™Adua family, saying, â€œOn behalf of the good people of our great Country Nigeria, I stand by our First Lady, Her Excellency Hajia Turai Yarâ€™ Adua, the Children, our Mother, Hajia Habiba Musa Yar Adua, and the entire Yarâ€™ Adua family and offer our heartfelt condolences on the demise of our amiable leader.
He said â€œPresident Yarâ€™ Aduaâ€™s contribution to political development and good governance would never be forgottenâ€, saying that â€œhe will therefore always occupy a pride of place in the political history of our dear Nationâ€.
Besides, Jonathan said Yarâ€™Adua was a man of great personal integrity, deep devotion to God and outstanding humility, adding that â€œin all his public service, he displayed uncommon commitment to the peace, progress and unity of our countryâ€.
â€œHe has left for us a profound legacy that provides a firm foundation for Nigeriaâ€™s future. His exit has therefore created a huge vacuum in his personal contributions to the political growth and development of our nation.Â I have lost not just a boss but a good friend and brotherâ€, he said.
He added, â€œHaving taken the oath of office in line with the Nigerian Constitution, under these very sad and unusual circumstances, I urge all fellow citizens to remain steadfast and committed to the values and aspirations of our nation, noting that â€œwhile this is a major burden on me and indeed the entire nation, we must in the midst of such great adversity continue to garner our collective efforts towards upholding the values which our departed leader representedâ€.
President Jonathan restated his commitmentÂ Â to Good Governance, Electoral Reform and the fight against Corruption, which he promised to pursue with greater vigour.
â€œAs I had stated time and again, we must enshrine the best standards in our democratic practice. One of the true tests would be to ensure that all votes count and are counted in the upcoming General Elections. Similarly the effort at ensuring the sustenance of peace and development in the Niger Delta as well as the security of life and property around the entire country would be of top most priority in the remaining period of this administration.
Jonathan assured Nigerians, â€œthat the pledges which we had made to improve the socio-economic situation which we face through improved access to electricity, water, education, health facilities and other social amenities would continue to be given the needed emphasis. The welfare of our teeming workers and the unemployed youths would also be accorded a new impetusâ€.
He called on all Nigerians to pray for the repose of the soul of Yarâ€™Adua and for God to grant him eternal peace.
Yarâ€™Adua Remains Leaves Aso Rock
President Yarâ€™adua passed on, on Wednesday evening and his body was moved from the State House at about 11am of Thursday for Katsina State for burial which was to take place at 2pm the same day.
The remain was conveyed in an Ford ambulance vehicle with registration number SH 572 to the presidential wing of the Nnamdi International Airport, enroute to Katsina State.
The body of the former president was accompanied to the airport by the First Lady, wife of the Acting President and other family members as well as symparthisers.
Yarâ€™Adua,who has been sick for many months died around 9:00pm on Wednesday from a prolong illness which took him to Saudi Arabia last November. He was brought back to the country on February 23rd and has since been indoors at the villa until he passed away.
Yarâ€™Adua, 58, was governor of Katsina State between 1999 and 2007 when he was nominated to be the flag bearer of the ruling PDP in the 2007 elections, with Jonathan as running mate which they won.
He has been sick even as governor and has been undergoing treatment since he took over as president. In 2007, he was rushed to a hospital in Germany after he collapsed during a campaign rally, prompting speculations that he had died. It took then president Olusegun Obasanjo to put him on speaker-phone to convince many Nigerians that Yarâ€™Adua was alive.
Early last year, he went to Saudi Arabia for treatment but the nation was told he went for the lesser hajj. The trip was kept in top secrecy by government officials thereby raising public anger against the government. He came back quietly on a Saturday and continued his job.
Last November, he was rushed to Saudi Arabia again, and stayed there for about three months in King Feisal Specialist hospital where even top government functionaries who went to see him were denied access.
He was sneaked back into the country on February 9th, 2010 in the night one week after Jonathan was made an Acting President by the national assembly.
Vanguard observed that there an interrupted movement of people within and outside the Villa as most people who worked there, including security and journalists arrived the State House as early as 7:00am, just as people were seen discussing in groups concerning the development.Two coaster buses were also seen going out of the late president’s official residence carrying private items out of the villa with some smaller vehicles conveying some family members, perhaps, to the airport on their way to katsina for the burial.