He was a Muslim but was loved by Christians.
He was Fulani but saw Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and other tribes in Nigeria as one.
The truest Nigerian who didn’t segregate or choose one tribe over the other.
Under his watch, an Igbo man for the first time in Nigeria’s history became Inspector General of Police and not only one but two Igbo men consecutively Mike Mbama Okiro (2007 – 2009) and Ogbonna Okechukwu Onovo (2009 – 2010) were appointed Inspector Generals of Police.
Under his watch, an Igbo man Air Marshall Paul Dike was the Chief of Defence Staff.
Under his watch, A Yoruba man, Air Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin was Air Force Chief.
He didn’t appoint all the Service Chiefs from his zone so as not to make it clear to others that they don’t belong. He made us all feel like Nigerians.
He understood the pains of marginalization and under his watch, peace returned to the creeks.
Under his watch, we all still had hope for a better and greater Nigeria and there wasn’t any real agitation to break up Nigeria as we see today.
He understood that the Smile of a Crocodile wasn’t the way to gain the trust and acceptance of a people neither did he allow Pythons to dance across the Southeast as we see today which has turned the once restive Ala-Igbo into a pensive zone sitting on a keg of TNT.
The leadership style of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua should be the lesson notes subsequent Nigerian leaders should have copied.
If they had, probably many of our sons and daughters fighting a just cause because of the way they are being treated in a country they should call “home” would still be alive today to contribute their quota to the growth of the nation.
Even when Nigerians protested over his policies which were meant to better the lives of the people, he always met us at the round table of dialogue.
Today, the removal of subsidy he talked about which many challenged is now being championed by the same people who challenged him.
What would they do with the money realized from subsidy? Will the refineries work again as Umaru had planned so that fuel pump price will fall or would the money disappear into some pockets that can never be probed while the people continue to suffer?
A respecter of Rule of Law.
The late Eze Emmanuel Njemanze described him as exceptional and mourned your demise probably as much as I did.
A perfect gentleman if there were any perfect gentlemen! A good man!
I salute you Mr President. Without a doubt, you were Nigeria’s best.
Indeed, we miss you so much.
Keep resting in the bosom of Allah, my dear friend.