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Yar’Adua… The Legacy Lives On Even In Death

According to the words of wisdom “Education Without History Is A Wasted Generation”. After the resounding defeat at the National Assembly and the subsequent national repudiation of the infamous Third Term Agenda, President Olusegun Obasanjo who had tried to outfox the entire nation came to terms with reality. It was in 2006, and with the failure to stretch his tenure beyond the constitutionally allowed two terms, a hurried succession plan had to be put in place. The General from Ota must have been banking on calculations that the bid would sail through. However, as reality dawned that Nigerians could not be railroaded to assuage the ambitions of a ruler who appeared bent on installing a life Presidency in the world’s most populous black nation, quick steps had to be taken to find a replacement. Not minding the Third Term misadventure, the aces were still with the General. Since Obasanjo could not keep himself in power, he sought to install a protégé, someone who would most likely be pliant. There was equally the thesis from the Obasanjo camp about the need to put the Presidency in the hands of a capable technocratic leader who would continue the economic reforms and political agenda of the departing President.

By the time the dust settled, the outcome of the search for Obasanjo’s successor was a big surprise in the political space. As the front runners in the race for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential ticket for the 2007 elections jostled for the big prize, the eventual winner of the prize put a lie to all of the calculations of those who thought they were the favoured gladiators. From a Presidential field, which included the 2007 set of second term governors who were about finishing their tenures, the reclusive and taciturn Governor of Katsina State, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was surprisingly picked as Obasanjo’s anointed one. Being the heir to the throne to be vacated by Obasanjo meant Yar’Adua would not need to do much to win the Presidency. Obasanjo, who had engineered the Yar’Adua candidacy was not someone to do things in half measures. The civil war icon literally drew from his battle field experience and fired on all cylinders to achieve the objective of installing his hurriedly recruited successor. On the campaign trail in the build up to 2007 general elections, Obasanjo stomped for his protégé as if he was campaigning for himself. Many close watchers of the unfolding political drama assessed the Ota General’s exertions on behalf of his political go

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