Yar’Adua: How Abuja Residents Observe 7 – Day Mourning


The seven-day mourning  declared by the Federal Government for the departed former President Umaru Yar’Adua is being observed  by Abuja residents, including Rivers State Indigenes who have been wearing long faces since the news of the  Former President’s  death broke out Wednesday night. The melancholic mood continued uptill yesterday (Saturday) as residents continued to discusse the demise in hush tones and debated issues arising from the death in some locations.

The Tide On Sunday survey of the mood in the Federal Capital Territory and compliance with the presidential directive of 7- day mourning period,   between Wednesday night and yesterday, shows that a good man who made impact at the national scene through selfless contributions to society had left as the city wore a sombre look and residents sympathizing with one another, beckoning on each other to take heart over President Yar’Adua’s death.

The mood in the FCT was pronounced at the Rivers State Workers Complex in Gwarimpa Estate as even house wives and children discuss the development amidst sympathy for the nation and regret over the death of Yar’Adua, with a house wife, Mrs. Ndanee Daniel, greeting this reporter, “ Sir sorry for the death of (President) Yar’Adua’’, and another, Madam Chinyere Nwokogba saying yesterday,” we’re still mourning  our departed President’’.

Residents who spoke with The Tide On Sunday said the former President meant well for the nation, pointing out that he was sincere and detribalized leader who strove hard to improve the lots of Nigerians through his 7- Point Agenda, although some of his advisers exposed themselves as mere sycophants who were only self- seeking and were not committed to the implementation of his lofty programmes.

The various views expressed by Abuja residents on the Former President’s demise during our survey is summed up in an interview with the President, Rivers Community , Abuja, Chief Barr. Brighten Saagwe  who described the Former Leader as a very peaceful and visionary leader ‘ as well as ‘a man who stands by what he says’ and left his foot prints on the sands of time.

According to Chief Barr. Saagwe, ‘’ the late President was a peace- loving person  and a gentleman to the core who believes in the rule of law – because he even demonstrated this by granting amnesty to the Militants on the Niger Delta when they did not even solicit for it. So i think, on the overall, he was a very peaceful and visionary leader. Nigeria will miss him indeed.’’

He continued, “the legacy, Ithink , the Former President has left behind is that of the Rule of law. If you remember vividly the Anambra (State) election during the Andy Uba  Saga, he (Yar’Adua) said what the court would say would be what he would stand by and of a truth, he stands by it’’.

“So he would be remembered as a man who stands by what he says, not a man who speaks from one side of  his mouth and do another thing — so he’ll be remembered for his stand on the Rule of Law – strict obedience to the Rule of Law, ’’ he added.


Justus Awaji, Abuja