Published:4 May, 2012

I was at the Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua Centre at Memorial Drive in Abuja on a private visit about one hour ago. Jacqueline Farris the Director General of the Foundation helped me around Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua’s history (and essentially that of Nigeria) as we looked through pictures, letters, videos, diaries and the many legacies of the Nigerian Nationalist. I took a lot from all I saw and heard Jackie say but this letter pictured below appeals to my own values as a person. I want every Nigerian to read it. We will learn different things from reading – just as it’d remain an ordinary collection of words to some others – but as for me, it again shows that as a people, we always had leaders and I believe as we go forward we must by ourselves become better people. You cannot be a good leader if you are not a good citizen. You cannot transform Nigeria if you cannot make change in your State.

Leadership is failing us today, read this letter and make up your mind about whether leadership will fail us tomorrow. The future of Nigeria depends on you, this particular reader. God bless and keep Nigeria, God bless the people helping to birth change in our country. It is a long road to peace and prosperity but if we keep moving forward, with belief, competence and passion, Nigeria will make it. It is a marathon not a sprint.

The Letter:

“My Dear Son,

…You see, Buhari, I am today in prison not because I want political power or to be president as most people think. I do what I do because I love you; because I don’t want my children to grow up in a country that has no future – a country that you cannot be proud of.

You see, my son, I believe a person is nothing if he has no pride in himself. I am aware you understand I am not talking about the pride of the ignorant. I am talking about the kind of pride that comes as a result of achievement and inner strength, the kind that makes its possessor humble.

I would not have achieved anything, if after I am gone, all I leave behind for you are empty houses and some bank accounts – for these are nothing – they can be acquired by any idiot.

I want to leave for you something you can be proud of. A legacy of public service and sacrifice which will influence our country for good. Which you will be proud to inherit and I which I will be proud to pass over…

I love you,




  • muktar

    shehu was a leader dat i so admire, am ashamed of d nation as he envisage

  • ifeanyi oraelosi

    Mix Feelings after reading letter. A strong character that meant to lead but …….. Looking at his followership after his death-most became economic ‘terrorists’ to Nigerians,looting without control and with no regards for the development of the country. They formed the bulk of PDP at inception,and installed OBJ who did not truly help cage corruption. So maybe Yaradua failed to instil leadership qualities on his followers,or they knew something about him too that the rest of us missed.

  • Debo

    I weep for my naija after reading the letter. We have lost leadership, now ruled by thieves, and killers, who have no commitment whatsoever to the nation.

  • ArOo

    Hmmmm, although, I don’t know much about sheu musa yar’ adua. All I know about him is when he and OBJ kill FELA MAMA

  • Azubike Obi

    A few words from truly a leader, a precise and concise letter that can open up the mind of anybody that come across it about a genuine path in leadership. You (Shehu Musa Yar’Adua) live on through letters or speech like this.


    Shehu is great man and we wish pple like legacy and love for civil service


    Shehu is a great man and we wish pple like him with legacy and love for civil service

  • aminu almajir

    I agree with @omojuwa a must read for we all think along that line we surely will have a Nigeria we all can be proud of. I pray in the next election Nigerians will vote leaders not the emperors we have now, God bless Nigeria.

  • Sikiru Akeem Babatunde

    That was a legacy, what are you preparing to leave behind for unborn generation?

  • Labake

    Era of leaders with good consciousness of life after this world…. A gone era!!!

  • Basheer Gegu

    Yar’adua! A man with a vision, I am moved after reading the letter to his children while in prison

  • Abbdulaziz Saidu

    May your gentle soul rest in peace

  • Mahadi saddique

    A truly great leader,those are the kind of men nigeria really miss….rip Yar’adua both

  • Ibrahim Muhammad Kanya

    Yar’adua you are really a great man that we Nigerians will never forget, your letter is not for your children alone but to the entire country people, papa we missed you. Rest in peace

  • Sadiq aminu

    What an emotional write up

  • Muhammad B. Sani

    . . . Great & patriotic Leader. It was very unfortunate that you were not with us today. May your soul rest in Perfect Peace, Ameen.

  • Moh’d shafiu ibrahim Dankumbo

    Ofcourse, we missed a great and patriotic leader who always stand by every word he spoke. Yar’adua, a man with a virile thinking and vision for the future.

  • ogbonnia chibuzo

    Tafida’s letter to his son Buhari is very similar to Lincoln’s letter to his son. Both leaders stressed so much on what they believed, in their life time – character and selflessness, which to me is are dying values in our life time. His insistence on fighting for future generations, and not for his own personal gains is very symbolic – cos Abacha offered him everything he wanted to join the league of military apologists. Personally all these reinforces my utmost believe that Tafida’s ideals remains the blueprint of true democracy. The hallmark of his exemplary leadership was his avowed support of MKO, even when he prevailed on his own candidate (Atiku) to step down for MKO on the grounds that Atiku will be his running mate, which MKO later reneged on…..Unprecedented. May his gentle soul rest in peace, Amen.

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