The government and people of Federal Republic of Nigeria have lost a great leader, a man of peace and a champion of peace, the late President Umaru Yar’adua. During his brief but committed presidency he set an agenda of reform and renewal for Nigeria. But illness could not allow him to implement and actively participate in carrying out his planned policy.
President Umaru Yar’adua tackled the issue of Niger Delta head on by granting amnesty to the dissidents, simultaneously he set up the Ministry of Niger Delta to ease tension and to bring a new beginning to the troubled region. At the dawn of his presidency he also came up with the popular Seven-Point agenda for economic revitalization of Nigeria and provision of a durable infrastructure. The seven-point agenda could become the catalyst for the realization of the 2020 vision plan. He put a great emphasis on the prudent management of his country’s increasing foreign reserve. All these policies and ideas were at the infant stage before he fell to illness.
Mr. Vincent Ogboi, Senior Fellow, economic and financial analyst on African affairs at Afripol organization, emphasized the late president’s legacy: “Nigeria’s loss of President Umaru Yar’adua, although sad, has left a lasting legacy of conflict resolution by finally putting a handle on the Niger Delta militant unrest after many years of unsuccessful attempts by leaders before him. This sad loss has ushered in Dr. Jonathan Goodluck a fresh mind with ideas that may end Nigeria’s checkered political history of uncertainty, corruption, poor governance and a never ending cycle of strife and poverty in the land of enormous oil wealth and rich human resources. Dr Goodluck first attempt to tackle head-on the electoral reform Act which has made Nigerian’s young democracy the laughing stock of other democracies because of the massive rigging at all levels of elective positions is a breadth of fresh air. Elections are widely rigged, votes are hardly ever counted. Politicians are known to be selected by god fatherism instead of being elected by the electorate, thus leaving Nigeria and her people with less than credible electoral results.”
Mr. Emeka Chiakwelu, Principal Policy Strategist at Afripol during the monthly round table conference extended condolence to the family of the late president and Nigeria: “Nigeria has lost a great man, a gentleman and a genuine man of peace. The late President Umaru Yar’adua was a patriot who understood the problems facing his country and never shrinks to tackling of the country’s mounting problems. The problems ranging from poverty, inadequate infrastructure and Niger Delta beg for a leadership in Nigeria. The late president has set an example and a legacy worth emulating and implementing. The new President Goodluck Jonathan will continue to build on the legacy and may God Almighty guide him as he does well for his country.”
With the mantle of leadership and presidency transferred to His Excellency Goodluck Jonathan the continuation of the pragmatic policies of the administration will have new life with productive outcome. Poverty, Social Security, Niger Delta and paucity of social infrastructures especially reliable supply of electricity will continue to be the priorities of the new administration. President Goodluck Jonathan is efficiently capable of stirring the giant of Africa to affirmative direction with great achievements. Therefore Nigeria is possibly in good hands with the new president; and our great country will be a beckon of peace, hope and justice.
Afripol is committed to democracy, freedom and liberty in Nigeria and Africa.