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President Buhari, Jonathan remember ex-president Yar’adua

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has complimented the late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s patriotism.

Buhari, who spoke on Tuesday that he had political differences with the late leader, still acknowledged his patriotism, saying that Yar’Adua had a passion for the masses.

The president also noted that his late Katsina political rival reversed policies he believed hurt the interest of Nigerians when he became the President in 2007.

Buhari spoke his mind in a tribute in honour of Yar’Adua during the 10th anniversary of his death.

The President stated, “Despite our political differences, President Yar’Adua was unarguably a patriot because of his passion for the masses and his reversal of policies he believed were hurting ordinary Nigerians.

“Every leader should be given the credit that he deserves, whether you agree with President Yar’Adua politically or not, I must say that history will always record his honest and sincere service to the country.

“As we remember President Yar’Adua today, let us emulate his patience and gentle nature so that we don’t introduce toxicity into our politics where opponents perceive each other as enemies.

“Let me also use this occasion to extend my prayers and goodwill to his family, and the Katsina State Government on the 10th anniversary of his demise. May Allah continue to bless and comfort his gentle soul.’’

Also, a former President Goodluck Jonathan, Ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar and a former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, on Tuesday, paid glowing tributes to the late Yar’Adua.

In separate statements, the statesmen described Yar’Adua as a detrabalised patriot who put the nation’s interest above everything else.

Jonathan, who served as Vice-President under Yar’Adua, took to his twitter handle @GE Jonathan to recall times they spent together in office.

In a series of tweets, he said, “He was a President like no other who lived and died for the sake of his country. He stood on the side of the people, toiling day and night to make their lives better.

“President Yar’Adua built strong bridges of hope, love and understanding for which he became a force for national unity and positive change across our blessed land.

“In many ways he stood out. He had an accommodating spirit and enormous goodwill that secreted a web around our national fault lines to strengthen the bond; thus, leaving for his successors the task of reinforcing the band.”

Atiku in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, said, “To him (Yar’Adua), it was country first before political, religious and ethnic considerations.

“His belief in the oneness of Nigeria contributed to the vigour and passion we saw him display in bringing to a halt, the hostilities mounted on the nation’s mainstay and her people by militants.”

On his part, Ekweremadu in a tribute on his Facebook page stated, “He wrote his name in gold by creating the Ministry of Niger Delta in 2008 and pulled the amnesty deal in 2009 to restore peace, security, economic stability, and promote development in the region. I actually nominated him for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. He didn’t win, but the world noted that he was a man of peace and justice.”

Yar’Adua was governor of Katsina State from 1999 to 2007.

He succeeded former President Olusegun Obasanjo and became President in 2007.

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