Umaru Yar'Adua: Wikis


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Umaru Yar'Adua

Assumed office 
29 May 2007
Vice President Goodluck Jonathan
Acting President
Preceded by Olusegun Obasanjo

In office
29 May 1999 – 29 May 2007
Preceded by Joseph Akaagerger
Succeeded by Ibrahim Shema

Born 16 August 1951 (1951-08-16) (age 58)
Katsina, Nigeria
Nationality Nigerian
Political party People's Democratic Party (1998–present)
Other political
People's Redemption Party (Before 1989)
Social Democratic Party (1989–1998)
Spouse(s) Turai Yar'Adua
Alma mater Barewa College
Ahmadu Bello University
Religion Islam

Umaru Musa Yar'Adua (born 16 August 1951),[1][2] also known as Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar'adua, is the President of Nigeria and the 13th Head of State. He served as governor of Katsina State in northern Nigeria from 29 May 1999 to 28 May 2007. He was declared the winner of the controversial Nigerian presidential election held on 21 April 2007, and was sworn in on 29 May 2007. He is a member of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP).


Early life

Yar'Adua was born into an aristocratic Fulani family in Katsina;[3] his father, a former Minister for Lagos during the First Republic, held the royal title of Mutawalli (custodian of the treasury) of the Katsina Emirate, a title which Yar'Adua has inherited.[4][5] He started his education at Rafukka Primary School in 1958, and moved to Dutsinma Boarding Primary School in 1962. He attended the Government College at Keffi from 1965 until 1969. In 1971 he received a Higher School Certificate from Barewa College.[6] He attended Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria from 1972 to 1975, attaining a BSc in Education and Chemistry, and then returned in 1978 to achieve an M.Sc Degree in Analytical Chemistry.[6]

Professional career

Yar'Adua's first employment was at Holy Child College in Lagos (1975–1976). He later served as a lecturer at the College of Arts, Science and Technology in Zaria, Kaduna State, between 1976 and 1979. In 1979 he began working as a lecturer at College of Art Science, remaining in this position until 1983, when he began working in the corporate sector.

He worked at Sambo Farms Ltd. in Funtua, Katsina State as its pioneer General Manager between 1983 and 1989. He served as a Board Member, Katsina State Farmers' Supply Company between 1984 and 1985, Member Governing Council of Katsina College of Arts, Science and Technology Zaria and Katsina Polytechnic between 1978 and 1983, Board Chairman of Katsina State Investment and Property Development Company (KIPDECO) between 1994 and 1996. Yar'Adua served as a director of many companies, including Habib Nigeria Bank Ltd. 1995–1999; Lodigiani Nigeria Ltd. 1987–1999, Hamada Holdings, 1983–1999; and Madara Ltd. Vom, Jos, 1987–1999. He was Chairman, Nation House Press Ltd., Kaduna, from 1995 to 1999.

Early political career

During the Second Republic (1979–1983), Yar'Adua was a member of the leftist People's Redemption Party, while his father was briefly the National Vice chairman of the National Party of Nigeria. During the Transition Programme of President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Yar'Adua was one of the foundation members of the Peoples Front, a political association under the leadership of his elder brother, the late Major-General Shehu Musa Yar'Adua. That association later fused to form the Social Democratic Party. Yar'Adua was a member of the 1988 Constituent Assembly. He was a member of the party's National Caucus and the SDP State Secretary in Katsina and contested the 1991 Governorship election, but lost to Saidu Barda, the candidate of the National Republican Convention and an ally of Babangida. In 1999, he ran for the same position and won.[4] He was re-elected in 2003. He was the first governor to publicly declare his assets.[7]

In 2000, during his administration as governor, Katsina became the fifth northern Nigerian state to adopt sharia, or Islamic law.[8] In 2002 Amina Lawal, a woman from Katsina, was sentenced to death by stoning by a sharia court in the town of Bakori for committing adultery; the story attracted international attention. Her sentence was at first upheld by a court in the town of Funtua, then overturned a year later following an appeal.[9]

Presidential nomination


On 16–17 December 2006, Yar'Adua was chosen as the presidential candidate of the ruling PDP for the April 2007 election, receiving 3,024 votes from party delegates; his closest rival, Rochas Okorocha, received 372 votes.[10] Yar'Adua's success in the primary was attributed to the support of incumbent President Olusegun Obasanjo;[10][11] At the time of his nomination he was an obscure figure on the national stage, and has been described as a "puppet" of Obasanjo who could not have won the nomination under fair circumstances.[11] Shortly after winning the nomination, Yar'Adua chose Goodluck Jonathan, governor of Bayelsa State, as his vice-presidential candidate.[10][11]

Another view of the support he received from President Obasanjo is that he is one of few serving governors with a spotless record, devoid of any suspicions or charges of corruption.[11] He also belongs to the People's Democratic Movement (PDM) - a powerful political block founded by his late brother, Shehu Musa Yar'Adua, who was also Obasanjo's vice president during his military rule.

In 2007 Yar'Adua, who suffers from a kidney condition, challenged his critics to a game of squash in an endeavor to end speculations about his health.[12] On 6 March 2007 he was flown to Germany for medical reasons, further fomenting rumors about his health. His spokesperson said this was due to stress and quoted Yar'Adua as saying he was fine and would soon be back to campaigning. Another report, which was rejected by Yar'Adua's spokesperson, claims that Yar'Adua collapsed after suffering a possible heart attack.[13]


Yar'Adua with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev whilst the latter was on a state visit to Nigeria on 24 June 2009.

In the presidential election, held on 21 April 2007, Yar'Adua won with 70% of the vote (24.6 million votes) according to official results released on 23 April. The election was highly controversial. Strongly criticized by observers, as well as the two primary opposition candidates, Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP) and Atiku Abubakar of the Action Congress (AC), its results were largely rejected as having been rigged in Yar'Adua's favor.[14]

After the election, Yar'Adua proposed a government of national unity. In late June 2007, two opposition parties, the ANPP and the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), agreed to join Yar'Adua's government.[15] On 28 June 2007, Yar'Adua publicly revealed his declaration of assets from May (becoming the first Nigerian Leader to do so), according to which he had 856,452,892 naira (US$5.8 million) in assets, ₦19 million ($0.1 million) of which belonged to his wife. He also had ₦88,793,269.77 ($0.5 million) in liabilities. This disclosure, which fulfilled a pre-election promise he made, was intended to set an example for other Nigerian politicians and discourage corruption.[7]

Yar'Adua's new cabinet was sworn in on 26 July 2007.[16][17] It includes 39 ministers, including two for the ANPP.[17]

Buhari and Abubakar filed petitions to have the results of the 2007 presidential election invalidated due to alleged fraud, but on 26 February 2008 a court rejected the petitions. Buhari and Abubakar said that they would appeal to the Supreme Court. Marred by corruption, many argued that this election was rigged by Obasanjo as well, as he wanted his successor to have the same basic ideals that he possessed as President.[18]


President Yar’Adua left Nigeria on 23 November 2009, and was reported to be receiving treatment for pericarditis at a clinic in Saudi Arabia. He has not been seen in public since and his absence has created a dangerous power vacuum in Nigeria.[19]

In December 2009 Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) stated that Yar'Adua, should have handed over to Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan in an acting capacity during his illness, a statement that was backed up by the NBA national executive committee.[20] On January 22, 2010, the Supreme Court of Nigeria ruled that the Federal Ministries of Nigeria had 14 days to decide on a resolution about whether he "is incapable of discharging the functions of his office". The ruling also stated that the Federal Ministries should hear testimony of five doctors, one of whom should be Yar'Adua's personal physician.[21]

On February 9, 2010, the Senate determined that presidential power should be transmitted to the Vice President Goodluck Jonathan. He will serve as Acting President, with all the accompanied powers, until Yar'Adua has returned to full health. The power transfer has been called a "coup without the word" by opposition lawyers and lawmakers. However, there are others that felt the power vacuum would lead to instability and a possible military takeover. [22]

On February 24, 2010, Yar'Adua returned to Abuja. His state of health was unclear, but there was speculation that he was still on a life support machine.[23]

Marriage and family

Yar'Adua has been married to Turai Umaru Yar'Adua since 1975; they have seven children (5 daughters and 2 sons).[24] Their daughter Zainab is married to Kebbi State governor Usman Saidu Nasamu Dakingari.[25] Their daughter Nafisat is married to Bauchi State governor Isa Yuguda.[26][27] Yar'Adua was married to Hauwa Umar Radda as a second wife from 1992 to 1997. They have two children.[28][29]


  1. ^ Adetayo, Olalekan; Ebhuomhan, Sebastine (15 August 2008). "Confusion reigns over Yar’Adua’s birthday". The Punch (Lagos) (Punch Nigeria Limited). Retrieved 17 July 2008. 
  2. ^ Ayorinde, Steve (16 July 2008). "The goof about the President's birthday". The Punch (Lagos) (Punch Nigeria Ltd.). Retrieved 17 July 2008. 
  3. ^ Abatan, Tunde et al. (21 April 2007). "Presidency: A Fulani contest". Daily Independent (Lagos), via (Independent Newspapers Limited, Lagos). Retrieved 30 July 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Daily Trust, Yar'Adua Interview, 3 March 2007
  5. ^ "Celebration Galore as Yaradua is Installed Mutawallen Katsina". This Day (Lagos). Thursday, 4 July 2002. Retrieved 21 September 2007. 
  6. ^ a b "Biodata". Yar' adua. 2007. Retrieved 3 February 20. 
  7. ^ a b Josephine Lohor, "Nigeria: Yar'Adua - I'm Worth N850m", This Day (via, 29 June 2007.
  8. ^ "Nigeria's Katsina state adopts Sharia". BBC News. Tuesday, 1 August 2000. Retrieved 20 June 2007. 
  9. ^ "Yar'adua and the woman who escaped stoning". The Nation (Lagos). Sunday, 22 April 2007. Retrieved 20 June 2007. 
  10. ^ a b c Tom Ashby, "Reclusive Yar'Adua wins ruling party ticket", Reuters, 17 December 2006.
  11. ^ a b c d Steve Bloomfield, "Obasanjo picks 'puppet' successor in elections", The Independent (U.K.), 17 December 2006.
  12. ^ "Candidate wants to squash health rumors". Reuters. 5 January 2007. Retrieved 24 February 2010. 
  13. ^ Tom Ashby, "Is Lagos candidate too ill to rule?" Reuters (IOL), 8 March 2007.
  14. ^ "Huge win for Nigeria's Yar'Adua", BBC News, 23 April 2007.
  15. ^ "Nigerian opposition parties agree to join government", Xinhua (People's Daily Online), 29 June 2007.
  16. ^ "Nigerian president names three to Cabinet energy posts, warns against graft", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), 26 July 2007.
  17. ^ a b "Nigerian President swears in 39 ministers", African Press Agency, 26 July 2007.
  18. ^ "Court rules Nigeria poll was valid", Al Jazeera, 26 February 2008.
  19. ^ McConnell, Tristan (7 January 2010), "Prove you are alive: clamour for missing Nigerian leader to show his face", The Times, .
  20. ^ Jude Igbanoi (14 December 2009). "NBA Backs Akeredolu Over Yar'Adua's Health". ThisDay. Retrieved 2010-2-13. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Hajiya Turai: What Manner Of First Lady?". Leadership (newspaper) (Abuja), Sunday, 3 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  25. ^ "Yar'Adua's Daughter's Wedding Won't Affect Guber Case". This Day (Lagos), Monday, 16 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-22. 
  26. ^ Danjuma, Michael (25 January 2009). "Yar’Adua concludes daughter’s marriage to Bauchi Gov". This Day (Lagos), via (African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc.). Retrieved 12 September 2009. 
  27. ^ Michael, Ishola (30 January 2009). "Drums, drinks in Bauchi, Abuja As governor carts home president's daughter". Nigerian Tribune (Ibadan) (Independent Newspapers Limited). Retrieved 12 February 2009. 
  28. ^ "The president is a committed father — Ex–wife". Sunday Trust (Abuja). Sunday, 22 September 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2007. 
  29. ^ "An encounter with the president’s unreported family". Sunday Trust (Abuja). Sunday, 22 September 2007. Retrieved 26 July 2007. 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Akaagerger
Governor of Katsina
Succeeded by
Ibrahim Sherma
Preceded by
Olusegun Obasanjo
President of Nigeria
Succeeded by
Goodluck Jonathan
Party political offices
Preceded by
Olusegun Obasanjo
People's Democratic Party presidential nominee
Succeeded by
Most recent
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Blaise Compaoré
Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States
Succeeded by
Goodluck Jonathan


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Umaru Musa Yar'Adua (born 1951) is the 2nd President of Nigeria's Fourth Republic. He served as governor of Katsina State in northern Nigeria from May 29, 1999 to May 28, 2007. He was declared the winner of the controversial Nigerian presidential election held on April 21, 2007, and was sworn in on May 29, 2007. He is a member of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP).


  • Is it with respect to the reference point of American elections? Or is it with respect to the 1999 elections or is it in respect to the 1983 elections in Nigeria or to the 2003 elections? So when people make statements, or even organizations, or even the U.S. State Department, they should qualify such statements and we know the reference point from which they are making their statement against. Once you know the reference point, then it will actually make sense.

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