Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, GCFR
Born on 16 August 1951 and died on 5 May 2010. He was the 13th president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He was governor of Katsina State in northern Nigeria from 29 May 1999 to 28 May 2007. He was declared the winner of the 21 April 2007 Presidential Election and was sworn into office on 29th May 2007.
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. He attended Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria from 1972 to 1975, where he obtained a B.Sc. degree in Education and Chemistry, and then returned in 1978 to pursue an M.Sc. degree in Analytical Chemistry.
He was a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). In 2009, Yar’Adua left for Saudi Arabia to receive treatment for pericarditis. He returned to Nigeria on 24 February 2010, where he was pronounced dead on the 5th of May, 2010.
During the Second Republic (1979–83), 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. He was re-elected in 2003. He was the first governor to publicly declare his assets.
In the year of 2000, during his administration as governor, Katsina became the fifth northern Nigerian state to adopt sharia, or Islamic law.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.
Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua married Turai Umaru Yar’Adua in 1975. They had seven children