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.

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Ibraheem ‘Bukunle Sanusi : Youth Inclusion In Political and Governance Processes

I was recently part of a group of 19 Africans selected from various countries by the United States (US) Department of State to participate in its prestigious International Visitors Leadership Programme (IVLP). The elite programme which started 75 years ago boasts of more than 300 alumni from around the world who have gone ahead to occupy high profile positions in politics, business, arts, media, academia including as heads of state and governments across the World.

Lagos Set To Boost Office of Public Defender

...As AG Seeks NBA's Support, Partnership  The Lagos State Government has pledged its commitment towards boosting the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) to perform optimally as part of efforts to ensure the protection of the rights of the people. Attorney General of the State and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, who made the pledge while meeting with the State leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), said the administration of...

Abubakar Usman: Taraba and the PDP; A Timeline of Injustice

The political history of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will never be complete without the mention of the party’s rigging machinery. The grassroots structure of PDP is one, built on the fulcrum of well-oiled rigging machinery. For many, it started sixteen years ago but for those who follow political history of this nation closely, it was a pattern structured by the founders of the party well before then. The last general elections reaffirmed the stand that PDP...

@Allsocks_: Challenges that come with Not Wearing Socks

It’s a choice to wear or not wear socks. It’s also a choice to accept the problems that come with not wearing them. Wearing socks helps to keep the feet and body warm. Socks helps to keep the feet clean as they don’t have to contact your shoe’s interior. Socks helps to keep your feet warm, preserve your shoes, and ensure that they don’t produce offensive odour that can be quite embarrassing.

Group Protests Discrimination, Victimization Of Muslim Women

Al-Mu’minaat (The Believing Women) Organisation has criticized the discrimination and victimisation of Muslim women and girls in educational institutions and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Nigeria.   Al-Mu’minaat in a press statement issued by its National Amirah, Hajia Nimotullah Abdullateef, lamented that the discrimination, harassment and victimisation of Muslim girls and ladies from dressing in conformity with their religious beliefs is targeted at disenfranchising Muslim females from public funded secondary education and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).   According to...

INEC To Deploy 8,000 Ad hoc Staff For Bayelsa Governorship Polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Bayelsa has said that more than 8, 000 ad hoc staff would be engaged in the December 5 governorship election in the state.   Mr Baritor Kpagih, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa on Saturday.   He said that the commission’s permanent staff would also be actively involved in the conduct of the election.   “We will involve ad hoc staff, more than 8, 000...

Kidnappers Free Samson Siasia’s Mother

The police in Bayelsa have confirmed that abductors have freed the mother of Nigeria’s Under-23 National Team Coach Samson Siasia, Mrs Beauty Siasia.   ASP Asinim Butswat, police spokesman in Bayelsa, said the kidnappers freed the victim following a clampdown on their location by men of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of police in the state.   He said that the victim, 72, who was abducted on November 16, was dropped off at about 1:30 a.m on Saturday.   Butswat said that the police were cautious and...

Appeal Court Sacks Former Senate President David Mark From Senate

A Nigerian Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi, Benue state has nullified the election of former Senate President David Mark in a ruling delivered by Justice Olabisi Ige.   The court ruled on six grounds of appeal brought against a lower tribunal ruling which earlier upheld Mark’s election last month. In ruling on the appeal brought by Daniel Onjeh, the South Benue Senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Justice Ige ruled that the election of Mr. Mark was fraught with...

Kogi APC Lawmakers Insist On Audu’s Son, Threaten To Impeach Any Other Candidate

Lawmakers on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Kogi, on Friday threatened to impeach any candidate chosen to replace the late flag bearer, Prince Abubakar Audu.   Some of the lawmakers, who were at the party’s secretariat in Abuja, told newsmen that their wish was that Mohammed Audu be given the mandate of his late father.   Mr Momoh Rabiu, who spoke on behalf of the lawmakers, said: “Based on our discussion, we have taken a decision and taken our...

Lagos Shuts Shoprite Over Breach Of Safety Law, Expired Goods

The Lagos State Safety Commission on Friday shut the multi-billion multi-national shopping outlet, Shoprite located at the Ikeja Shopping Mall, Ikeja, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, for allegedly breaching safety law.   Officials of the commission were said to have stormed Shoprite on Friday afternoon and drove everyone out and sealed off the massive premises, placing a seal order at the entrance. The seal order notice read: “Sealed, this premises has been...

CCT Adjourns Orubebe’s Case Till January 27

Hearing in the criminal charge against a former minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe has been adjourned till 27 January 2016.   The trial judge at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar gave the new date after listening to the oral application of government lawyer, Peter Danladi to amend the charge.   Orubebe is standing trial before the tribunal on charges of false declaration of assets and collection of bribe on awarded contract.   At the resumed hearing of the trial, prosecution counsel,...

Ambode Commissions N4.765bn Helicopters, APCs, Gunboats For Lagos Police (Photos)

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari represented by the Minister of Interior, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazzau (retd), Friday commissioned three helicopters, 15 armoured personnel carriers, APCs, two gunboats, 165 vehicles and others purchased at a cost of N4.765 billion by Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode for the police.   The full security equipment commissioned by the president are 100 four-door saloon cars, 55 Ford Ranger Pick-Ups, 10 Toyota Land Cruiser Pick-Ups, 15 BMW Power Bikes, 100 other Power Bikes, Isuzu Trucks, three Helicopters, two...

Institute Honours Nigerian Researchers For Developing Typhoid Vaccine, Anti-Snake Venom

The International Institute for Training, Research and Economic Development (IITRED) has awarded prizes to three Nigerian researchers for developing typhoid fever vaccine, micro-needles and anti-snake venom respectively.   The prizes were given at the 2015 Distinguished Research Seminar and IITRED Research Prize Award/Dinner on Thursday in Abuja.   The recipients were Prof. Samuel Garba of Federal University of Technology, Minna, who developed typhoid vaccine and Dr Ololade Olatunji of University of Lagos, who developed micro-needles from fish scales.   The third award recipient was Prof....

Metuh Marks 50th Birthday At IDP Camp (Photos)

Chief Olisa Metuh, National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday donated relief materials to the Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).   Metuh donated the relief materials to the IDPs located at Waza Camp, in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) of the FCT, to mark his 50th birthday anniversary.   Metuh, who clocked 50 on Saturday, said he was at the camp to share in their feelings and challenges, irrespective of the difference in...

ICPC Cautions VIOs Against Extortion, Bribery

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has advised Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) in Kaduna State to avoid extortion and other forms of corrupt practices.   The ICPC North-West Zonal Commissioner, Mr Olusegun Adigun, gave the advice on Thursday at a two-day workshop for VIOs in the state to enlighten them on the need for integrity and transparency.   The workshop with the theme, “Combating Corruption in Vehicle Inspection System: The Role of ICPC’’, was organised by the ICPC in...

Garba Shehu: Buhari’s Trips Are Not For Enjoyment

I have been amused, reading a number of jokes concerning the frequency of the President, Muhammadu Buhari’s foreign trips.   Questions have been raised about why so many visits, and what are the benefits Nigeria is getting?   I will make it clear from the beginning that the critic is entitled to his and her opinion and nothing said here is intended to silence him or her.   Criticism goes with the territory and as it is often said in a wisecrack,...

Nigeria Seeks British Support To Boost Agric Goods Export

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, on Friday called for British government’s support to Nigeria’s quest to boost the export of its agricultural commodities.   This is contained in a statement issued by the Director of Information of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Alhaji Salisu Dambatta, on Friday in Abuja.   The statement said the minister made the call when he received the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright, in his office.   Usani said that Nigeria was...

Confab Calls For Implementation Of CAF Club Licensing Provisions

Participants at the just-concluded B-License Coaching Course organised by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), and Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), have called for the full implementation of CAF club licensing provisions.   The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CAF expects Premier League clubs in Africa to attain some level of international standard in the area of infrastructure, administration and personnel as well as finance.   The clubs must also have a viable legal department; clubs must have a solid structure for...

Buhari Pledges Priority Attention To Police Recruitment, Welfare

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said that priority attention would be given to the recruitment, training, equipping, logistics and welfare of the Nigeria Police in line with international best practices.   Buhari made the assertion at the inauguration and handing over of security equipment worth N4.8 billion by the Lagos State Government to the state Police Command.   Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazau, commended the state government for the gesture. "On its part, the Federal Government...

Synagogue Church Trustees, Engineers To Be Arraigned On Monday Over Building Collapse

Lagos State Ministry of Justice says that the trial of Trustees of the Synagogue Church and the building Engineers contracted to supervise the Church’s collapsed building will commence on Monday, 30th November, 2015.   A statement by the Public Relation Officer of the ministry, Mrs Bola Akingbade said the trial will take place at the Ikeja High Court before Justice Lawal Akapo.   A Coroner , Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, had in a verdict ruled that the Synagogue Church and its...

Kano Blast: Police Yet To Ascertain Casualty Figure

The Kano State Police command said on Friday it was yet to ascertain the casualty figures in the bomb attack at Dakasoye village in Garun Malam Local Government Area of the state.   Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Muhammad Katsina, told NAN, in Kano on Friday that the members of the Shi’ite Islamic sect had taken away the corpses and injured persons.   “I cannot give you the official figure of casualty and the injured because the members have taken them...