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Yar’adua’s dreams for nation might not have been achieved – Ex-wife

Hauwa Umar Radda: I’ve never felt that shocked in my entire adult life. I was sick, confused but at the same conscious that as Allah…

Hauwa Umar Radda: I’ve never felt that shocked in my entire adult life. I was sick, confused but at the same conscious that as Allah has ordained in the Holy Quran, that every soul shall taste death. That fateful Wednesday morning, I couldn’t understand why but I knew something was wrong somewhere. And around 7 pm of that fateful day, a friend called to inform me about the bad news. I immediately called my son Ibrahim who lives in Aso Rock to find out if the story was true. He answered in the affirmative and even told me that his younger brother Abba fainted and that made me shed tears. No one can tell how it felt to lose the father of your children. I immediately left for Katsina.

WT: What will you remember most about the life of the late president?

Radda: There are so many things about the former president that I cannot easily forget and there are so many things also that I always remember about him. Apart from his humble simplicity, he was a man of decency, courage and committed to his family to a fault and he never apologizes for his closeness to his family. That I will never forget.

I may not have been with him physically throughout his illness, but we were very close as a family. I knew from the day he granted the interview to the BBC that the illness was really very serious because his voice had lost its vigor. Since that day to the day he died, I have prayed every night in the hope that he may get well and return to his family and people.

WT: Would say from what you knew of his dreams, that they have been fulfilled?

Radda: No. I am sure his dreams were not fully fulfilled. You see, anyone who knew him would testify that the level of his lamentations over the situation in the country was a preoccupation that could not have been fulfilled within the short time he has as he led the country. He might have attained some, but I am sure his desires for the nation were never near fulfillment.

Thinking about it now, he has always been a unique person. For instance, he never used perfume as long as we lived together and he wore only the simplest of clothes. In fact, most of his clothes, we’d buy for him because he would not go to the market.

WT: What is your view on how Nigerians reacted to the former president’s death?

Radda: We can only thank Nigerians for their prayers in mosques, in churches and even from those who worship outside these two religions. The reaction of the country was encouraging to his family.

I could remember, during his sojourn in Saudi Arabia and after he returned, we had stopped watching television, radio or even browsing the ’net because of the sorts of reactions from some Nigerians. We felt bad that such a person will be accused when all he needed was prayers, but thank God, he was appreciated after his death and we saw the collective grief from all our brothers and sisters around the country and we are grateful.


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