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.
“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,