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Examinng the records of the Yar’ adua dynasty

The first call came when the cold hands of death took away the blessed soul of Alhaji Musa Yar’adua in 1993. He was until his…

The first call came when the cold hands of death took away the blessed soul of Alhaji Musa Yar’adua in 1993. He was until his death, a former Minister for Lagos Affairs during the first republic (the equivalent of FCT Minister now); he was also the Mutawallin Katsina and a member of the Katsina Emirate Council. He was credited with founding the famous Yar’adua dynasty. His record of service was the first call made by the house to the nation. The then military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida ,made a personal plea for the burial to be delayed until his arrival. With his presence, you can bet that anybody mattersed that time was in Katsina to attend the funeral rites. That day, Katsina town stood still for just one person; that is the founder of the Yar’adua dynasty, Alhaji Musa Yar’adua. People who witnessed the burial testified that no one in Katsina has ever attracted such a crowd, which is a clear evidence of the selfless service of the deceased.

The second lost by the family came when General Shehu Musa Yar’adua died in 1997 after spending more than two years in prison. His death drew deep sympathy for him and the Yar’adua family, and that made his burial to be attended by an inestimable crowd, although the then president did not attend but that did not deter dignitaries from all walks of life from attending the funeral rites. People argued that the crowd that gathered for his burial was more than that of his father, while some claimed otherwise. Anyway, that doesn’t matter; the most important thing is that the family answered the call of the nation the second time.

Then finally, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua, the 13th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the 2nd civilian governor of Katsina State, the 3rd Mutawallin Katsina, the son of the founder of the Yar’adua dynasty, the younger brother of late Shehu Musa Yar’adua, died on May 5, 2010 at the age of 58 after a protracted illness that kept him out of public glare for over five months. His funeral rites made the entire city of Katsina to standstill for the whole day. Over 35 aircrafts landed at the Katsina airport, which sets a record number of flights since the airport was opened. Over 500 cars escorted the body from the airport to the family house. The number of dignitaries and the masses who attended the burial cannot be estimated. For now, this is the third call that the Yar’adua family made to the nation, and the nation has answered. It is now clear that the funeral rites of the three illustrious sons of the Yar’adua family attracted the largest crowd ever seen in Katsina and beyond.

To set the records straight, it is important to point out that the Yar’adua family has so far produced two ministers (one former, and one serving), that is late Alhaji Musa Yar’adua and Alhaji Murtala Shehu Yar’adua (current minister of state for Ministry of Defense). It has also produced a vice president, in the person of late Maj. Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’adua, who was Chief of General Staff to Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo. And the Yar’adua dynasty reached its peak when it produced the nations’ highest officer, that is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in person of late Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua. Prior to that, he was governor of Katsina state for eight years. In summary, the Yar’adua dynasty has produced two ministers, a governor, a vice president and a president.

I doubt if there is any family in Nigeria today that can match the records set by the famous Yar’adua dynasty, in terms of holding public office and attracting a record crowd during their funeral rites? There must be something about this family that makes them tick.

 Zayyad is a lecturer at the Hassan Usman Katsina Polytechnic, Katsina

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