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Turai – My last time with Umaru Musa Yar’Adua



Turai - My last time with Umaru Musa Yar’Adua

′Turai – Being First Woman by no means stopped my kitchen duties Friday May 5, 2023, marked the thirteenth anniversary of the loss of life of former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. He was Nigeria’s President from 2007 to 2010. Continue Reading….

In an interview with BBC Hausa service, his wife, Hajiya Turai Yar’Adua, narrated her last Time with the late President.

How has life been for you and your children over these years?

I thank God for His goodness and mercy. I am now used to living without him. It’s only when his thought comes that I feel the pain of his death. But on a day like this, 5th May, his memory comes back in full because of lots of messages and greetings that come from family and friends, and some of his political associates. On such a day, people often gather in the house. Prayers are offered to God for his life. I enjoy such moments and I also appreciate God for that.

What do you remember regarding the day he died in 2010?

I can still remember that the day he died I was on a fast. In fact, I had been fasting since when the sickness became worst, and until his death, I was on that fast on the day he died. What happened was that I was about to break the fast in the evening, and he was lying down and looking at me. He never wanted me to step out to break the fast. I pleaded with him to allow me go break the fast. He shook his head, perhaps, in permission, and I left. Shortly after, someone starting calling me that the situation was deteriorating. Before I could come back, he had died. That was when I regretted leaving his side for thosefew minutes. It was a painful moment for me.

After that, what happened?

I am a Muslim who believes in power of death and life. I also know that life and death are in the hand of God. He gives and takes when it pleases Him. I had to accept the reality and appreciate God for the gift of life.

What can you say about him that many people don’t know?

My late husband was a simple man who was contented with what he had. He had no attachment or regard for the things of the world. My late husband could use a wristwatch for several years without changing it. I had to observe and change that. He never dreamed of going into politics, hence he never fought about anything. Political opportunities, including the one to be Nigeria’s President, came to him and he took them and did very well.

What are the unforgettable moments you had with your late husband?

Every day of my life spent with him was memorable for me and my children. People often marvel at our marriage. Our love was fresh every day. He had peace and love at home, hence he headed home straight after work each day. I miss him each time I travel and return because he was the first person I called whenever I touched down. The day I missed him the most was the day I travelled and returned, nobody called to ask, Turai how was my journey? His absence touched me greatly that day.

How has life been after leaving office years ago?

I thank God for that opportunity to serve. It was not difficult for me to continue life after office because I was never a political person. I prefer my home front. I prefer to take care of my children and grandchildren. If you see me in the office of First Lady, then know that work took me there. I could spend three months without going that office as long as there was no work or serious thing to do. So, it wasn’t difficult for me to continue my life after office as First Lady, in terms of living within my limits and contentment. My main concern then and now is to take care of our children and grandchildren. But I am grateful to God because the children are doing very well.

After his death, what was your relationship with his political associates?

We had good relationships with them. My kind of person, I don’t go or put mouth in things that do not concern me. After his death, I spent more time with the children, some of whom were schooling elsewhere. So, most of my time was spent with the children. I truly have a good relationship with some of my late husband’s political associates, till date. Each time we meet, we gist, talk and laugh. There’s no problem between us.

Do you have any intention of going into politics?

No! I have no intention of going into politics at all. I have seen how politics is in Nigeria. I did politics years ago when I was in secondary school. My late husband was the President of Katsina State students’ union, and I was one of the executive members. Since my husband died, my desire for politics died too. Maybe any of the children or grandchildren may develop interest in politics.

Is there any of them that has indicated interest in politics?

I don’t know about that for now. Besides, my late husband never had the intention of politics. Destiny drew him to that. His desire was just to do his lecturing job, return home and we continue our gist. He was my gist partner. My prayer is that God should lead the children and grandchildren the way He wants. That’s my only prayer and desire.

What advice do you have for the incoming First Lady?

My advice for her is to be patient with situations and people. She has a big role to play in guiding her husband. On many occasions, I have been accused of stopping the intentions of corrupt people who wanted to do bad things and get away with it. My late husband was not a womanizer, didn’t drink alcohol, not corrupt. So, those bad people couldn’t succeed with their evil plans around him. She should be his best adviser because many others would be after their pockets.

What message do you have for Nigerians as former First Lady?

My message is of peace and tolerance. The way things are now, we need peace and fear of God. We need to pray to God for His intervention. Nobody can solve the problem of Nigeria now, except God. We must know that we don’t have any other country except Nigeria. So, Christians and Muslims should join forces and pray for the soul of this country. If we destroy this country, our children will ask us questions. Even if you travel out of this country for any reason or because you could afford the cost, you will still come back because not all your family members could afford the trip. So, let’s work to make Nigeria better.

How were you able to manage the heat during the sickness of your late husband?

My strength was from my late husband. He saw it coming and informed me earlier to prepare, and I did. He always told me to take heart, that the experience was the price to pay for being his wife and the First Lady. I didn’t offend him. I was completely submissive to him. I didn’t do whatever he asked not to do, and that was why he found peace around me and at home. As a First Lady, I cooked for my husband. There were cooks that I hired but I took it as a responsibility to make his food. Continue Reading….

I would always go to him to ask what he wanted, and I would make it for him. That I was a First Lady never stopped my kitchen responsibilities.

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