By NBF News

The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has expressed condolence to President Goodluck Jonathan and Nigerians on the death of former President Umar Yar'Adua. Also, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has expressed shock over the former president's death.

In a condolence message, signed by Tukur Abdulrahman, Deputy President   and John Ndukauba, General Secretary, the NGE described Yar'Adua's death as a monumental loss to the country, especially at a time the nation was making efforts to consolidate on the gains of democratic governance.

'Yar'Adua will be remembered for the strides the country made during his short tenure, especially setting in motion the process for peace in the Niger Delta through the amnesty programme, the machinery for the electoral reforms and his unwavering commitment to combat the scourge of corruption', the NGE said.

Praising Yar'Adua, the NGE said: 'His policy on corruption is exemplified by the fact that he declared his assets on assumption of office, thus challenging other public office holders to follow suit,' adding: 'Yar'Adua's enunciation of the seven-point agenda, which sets out the major thrust of his administration, was welcomed by all Nigerians.'

While welcoming the smooth transition of power in the Presidency, the NGE expressed hope that President Jonathan would build on the foundation laid by Yar'Adua.

'The challenge before President Jonathan is also to confront the myriad of economic problems facing the country - the comatose power sector, unemployment, poor security in the country, the poor road network and the imperative of food security,' the NGE said, adding: 'The Goodluck administration will be judged by Nigerians on how it is able to improve the lives of Nigerians.'

In a related development, the ICPC said the death of Yar'Adua was shocking, especially as it 'came at a time when Nigeria was beginning to adjust to the precepts of integrity and transparency that he had preached all throughout his presidency.'

The ICPC, in a statement by its chairman, Justice Emmanuel Ayoola, said that Yar'Adua believed the war against corruption had actually encouraged the anti-corruption agencies.

'Like his predecessor in office, President Olusegun Obasanjo, he treated the ICPC with utmost courtesy and never for a moment interfered with its independence,' the statement said.

The ICPC said: 'The late President Yar'Ádua's virtues and attributes are too numerous to mention. His leadership traits, demonstrated in his all too short presidency, are certainly built on values that would, undoubtedly, continue to ennoble our nation. He was passionate in his commitment to the rule of law, ardent in his pursuit of peace and sincere in his faith in democracy.'

The anti-graft agency said that Yar'Adua displayed the courage of a leader when 'he brought peace and tranquility to the Niger Delta region through the amnesty he granted to the militants in that region.' It said that the late president 'demonstrated his commitment to democracy and transparency in the electoral system when he initiated electoral reform and, practised that transparency that he believed in and preached when he publicly declared his assets.'

The ICPC said that by Yar'Adua's death, 'Nigeria has lost a leader whose strength had laid in virtue, whose vision of a great Nigeria was inspiring and whose sincerity in selfless pursuit of all that is good for Nigeria was unalloyed and never in doubt.'

While asking God to grant Yar'Adua eternal rest, the ICPC prayed that God would endow President Jonathan 'with courage, strength and unrivalled wisdom to continue to steer the ship of state in the right direction, to the glory of our nation and humanity and that the hearts of all Nigerians will be turned to the path of integrity and transparency that will make President Jonathan's tenure and Nigeria glorious.'