5th May 2010: Nigerian president, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua passed on after five long months of chronic illness at the age of 58. He ran the country for only three years and went a mighty long way in fighting corruption and ordering the EFCC to pursue everyone that was culpable in the Nigerian corruption story.
Today marks seven years of Umar Yar’Adua’s death and we’re almost back at that exact same point considering the health challenges facing Nigeria’s current president, Muhammadu Buhari. At the time nearing Yar’Adua’s death, the nature of his ailment, his medical reports and every other detail of his health issues were shrouded in secrecy.
Here’s a timeline in retrospect of Yar’Adua health journey through to the days that led to his death:
March 06, 2007: At this time, Umar Musa Yar’Adua was Governor of Katsina state and PDP Presidential candidate and rumours that he had died from a kidney failure made rounds. It was true that he collapsed but he was still alive and was immediately flown to Germany for treatment.
March 2007: His office dismissed speculations of ill health and attributed his medical challenge to stress. Umar Yar’Adua took matters in his own hands by challenging everyone who was suspicious of his health to a game of squash.
October 2008: Online news medium, Sahara Reporters revealed that President Umar Musa Yar’Adua was suffering from terminal lung cancer and Churg Strauss, a rare disorder marked by blood vessel inflammation.
November 23, 2009: President Umar Yar’Adua travelled to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for treatment partly validating Sahara Reporters’ claims.
November 26, 2009: President Yar’Adua’s health status was finally disclosed. He was reportedly suffering from a medical condition called acute pericariditis, an inflammation of the fibrous sac surrounding the heart and he was said to be responding to treatment.
January 12, 2010: President Yar’Adua makes his first public statement in weeks. In a radio interview, he assured Nigerians that he was recovering and hoped to return to the country soon.
February 09, 2010: The Nigerian Senate used the “doctrine of necessity” to transfer presidential powers to Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan and was declared Acting President until Yar’Adua’s health was fully restored.
February 17, 2010: His cabinet ministers rejected the motion to declare President Yar’Adua unfit to govern. They sent a delegation to Saudi Arabia to find out the state of his health.
February 24, 2010: President Yar’Adua returned to Nigeria in the early hours of the day after a three-month stay in Saudi Arabia where he received treatment for his heart condition.
April 01, 2010: Four Islamic clerics – Chief Imam of the Abuja National Mosque Ustaz Musa Mohammed; leader of the Izala Muslim sect in Katsina State, Sheik Yakubu Musa; Sheik Isa Pantami; and the President of the Supreme Council of Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN), Sheik Ibrahim Datti Ahmed – visited the President to offer prayers for him.
April 05, 2010: Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN President, Most Rev. John Onaiyakan; Presiding Bishop of Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo; Rev. Emmanuel Kure and former Aso Rock Chaplain, Prof Yusuf Obaje arrived Aso Rock at about 4.30pm to pray for President Yar’Adua’s recovery.
May 05, 2010: Nigeria’s 13th President, Umar Musa Yar’Adua dies.
May 06, 2010: Yar’Adua was buried in his hometown in Katsina.