From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Nigerians in Sierra Leone Pays Tribute to Late Yar' Adua
By Erja Vainikka-Howard from Finland & Aruna Turay
May 7, 2010, 17:06

Nigerians residing in Sierra Leone have expressed their sadness and sympathies for the lost of the President Umaru Musa Yar' Adua who passed away on Wednesday 5th May 2010 at the age of 58, after suffering a long illness that had left him unable to govern for months.

Sounding the opinions of Nigerian nationals living and trading in Sierra Leone, on Thursday 6th May 2010, Awareness Times succeeded in getting the views of some Nigerians in Freetown.

Micheal Alabi

Michael Alabi, a Yoruba operating a saloon along Free Street expressed sympathy over the death of the President and prayed that God receives him with his right hand.

"I was very shocked when I heard about the death of my President over the British Broadcasting Cooperation (BBC) this morning and since that moment I have not got a settled mind. President Yar' Adua was like a true father in Nigeria, a man loved and appreciated by all including foreign visitors. However, death is inevitable, I just pray that God who have called on this noble man, continue to provide for the family he left behind" prayed Mr. Alabi.

Philomena Ezeh

Also interviewed is a Nigerian female business woman trading in vehicle spare parts in Freetown Mrs. Philomena Ezeh who described the late man as a true ruler and father of the nation. For her, President Yar'Adua is the best President Nigeria has ever produced, adding that he was a man of quality, transparent, and positioned everyone in the same category, regardless of his/her ego. She went on that since the late man assumed power as President, Nigeria has enjoyed serious development in all its sectors.

"President Yar' Adua has reunified Nigerians at home and abroad, he is a peace maker, an honest and humble man, may his soul rest in perfect peace" Mrs. Ezeh prayed in tears. To the family of the late man, she prayed that God guide, protect and provide for them even in the absence of the father.

Charles Obisheli

Charles Obisheli an Hausa Nigerian national who also trades in Freetown offered prayers for the late man and the family he let behind. "I pray that God who took away my President, will give us another President who is like or more than him" he prayed, while hoping that the successor, Good Luck Jonathan will continue from where Yar'Adua stopped.

In sympathy with Nigerians and Nigeria, in this moment of national bereavement, grief and mourning the Federal Government of Nigeria has declared a seven day national mourning in honor of Mr. Yar' Adua

President Yar' Adua was a two time governor of Kastina state before becoming the elected President of Nigeria in April 2007 and he was inaugurated as the nation's president and national symbol, on May 29, 2007. President Yar' Adua's precarious health was a very public matter, in both national and international sense.

It could be recalled that President Yar'Adua who left Nigeria in November 23rd 2009 in a medical emergency, returned to Nigeria on February 23rd 2010 at dawn and was under very controversial protocol and surrounding circumstances.

Since retuning to Nigeria from hospitalization and medical care in Saudi Arabia, President Yar' Adua did not formally return to the presidency and presidential duties. He was however sighted a few times by a select few; He was reportedly seen by family and friends, a select retinue of political associates and religious leaders. But for the Nigerian public in general, he remained unheard, unseen and incommunicado.

President Yar' Adua did not appear publicly to the Nigerian public, whether in still pictures or in video. He did not meet with Nigerian journalists nor make public statements or pronouncements through the press or media in Nigeria.

President Yar' Adua who was a college professor before his foray into politics, died at the age of 58 and is survived by his wife, the former First Lady, Turai Yar' Adua, and their adult children.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.