The former Vice President of Nigeria Atiku Abubakar says he was inspired the courage of conviction of the late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua.
Atiku, who said this on Friday in a tribute marking the 20th memorial anniversary of the late Katsina soldier and politician whom he also described as “democracy martyr”, spoke on how late General Yar’Adua inspired him with his extraordinary courage as well as organisational and mobilisation skills.
The Waziri Adamawa described Shehu Yar’Adua as a fearless politician who was not ready to compromise his principles at the expense of the cause he was fighting.
He said that, although Yar’Adua was a military man, his passion for democracy was amazing and his courage extraordinary.
Atiku also said that Yar’Adua’s patriotism and commitment to Nigeria’s unity and peaceful coexistence was one of the remarkable virtues that attracted him to the Katsina General.
According to Atiku, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua was not a timid democrat who abandoned his beliefs because of fear or opportunistic reasons for political survival.
He said that during the 1994/95 National Constitutional Conference, General Yar’Adua was among the few voices that told General Sani Abacha not to stay longer than one year in office and prepare a transition programme within the shortest time frame.
The former Vice President said Yar’Adua’s position turned out to be inconsistent with General Abacha’s hidden agenda; and that from that moment, Yar’adua became a marked man.
He stated that the mentorship of Yar’Adua is enduring to his political life, especially as it relates to the unity of Nigeria and the promotion and defence of its territorial integrity.
The Waziri Adamawa said that the former Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, deserved a unique place in the pantheon of Nigeria’s democratic heroes.