Re: Confessions of Yar’Adua Boy : By Zubairu Ali Gafai


On 14 June, 2009 THE NATION newspaper carried an interview with one Sadiq Yar'Adua. Because of my deep knowledge of Sadiq, from his career to his family background, I found it absolutely necessary to respond to the blatant lies he had spewed out in his interview. Otherwise by his very character the man has made himself so politically inconsequential that he does not merit being dignified with any kind of response except silence.

First of all THE NATION, a fast-rising publication with a sincere disposition was deceived by Sadiq into giving him prominence. It is easy to see how the newspaper could get carried away by Sadiq; over the years the man has perfected the act of subtly exploiting the Yar'Adua family name in many ways whenever he thought he could get away with it; this he achieved by tactfully omitting his own family name of Saidu, while silently hoping nobody asks any probing questions. This way many innocent people would naturally assume that he is either a member of the Yar'Adua nucleus family or a distant relative; at the very least he could be mistaken for a close associate whose claim to the inner workings of the family must be credible.

But Sadiq Saidu Yar'Adua has no such credibility as far as Yar'Adua as a person, or Yar'Adua as a family is concerned. And this is really the nexus of the matter: his whole claim in that vain-glorifying interview was based on false claims and outrageous fabrications disguised as the revelations of an 'insider'. This is why this response became necessary; otherwise we all know that the man is bitter and frustrated because he recently lost a plump appointment as executive director with the Nigerian Ports Authority.

To begin with, Sadiq lied when he said he knew and associated closely with President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua for over 30 years. A certain gentleman (now late) Alhaji Ali Ruwa it was who brought Sadiq to Yar'Adua in 1999 and requested that Sadiq be incorporated into the Yar'Adua political family. That was the first close political contact that Sadiq ever had with Yar'Adua. Those of us who knew Sadiq's antecedents vehemently opposed incorporating him into our group. We reminded the President that as former press secretary to ex-Katsina governor John Madaki, Sadiq had worked openly for the NRC and had contributed to the controversial defeat of Yar'Adua who was then the SDP governorship candidate in the state. We also pointed out that in recognition of his efforts Sadiq was rewarded with a juicy appointment at the Nigerian Maritime Authority (NMA).

But our leader overruled our objections and urged us to think well of our brother in the hope that he might be reformed. This was how, with the active moral and political support of President Yar'Adua, that Sadiq became a member of the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003. Less than two years into his tenure however, our objections were vindicated: he fought with all but two of the 15 members of the House from Katsina; he launched an aggressive, inordinate campaign to become Speaker; not surprisingly his own people launched a very determined campaign to recall him. Again it was the same President Yardua that Sadiq is shamelessly maligning who intervened to stop the recall process.

But when he came back for reelection in 2003, the people could not be stopped: they stoned him and voted for somebody else. So as far as being close to Yar'Adua is concerned Sadiq is no more than a cheap opportunist. His claim that the President is unforgiving and deceitful is equally baseless. Sadiq himself is a living testimony to that; as is the case with Abba Sayyadi Ruma, the present minister of Agriculture and Water Resources and Alhaji Audu Aminchi, Yar'Adua's deputy when he was governor. With those gentlemen President Yardua has in fact displayed a forgiving spirit that is very rare in present day politics.

Ruma for example was PRO to the Election Commission that produced Barda as governor (for which Barda rewarded him with the position of special assistant on political matters); while Aminchi was Barda's deputy. To every body's surprise however, Yar'Adua adopted Aminchi as his running mate during his second tenure while making Ruma his SSG, and subsequently nominating him for minister during former president Obasanjo's regime and finally making him a very influential minister under his own regime. But perhaps the most striking was the case of Alhaji Bala, the current Chairman of Katsina local government council.

After the 1992 elections that produced Barda as Katsina state governor, Bala led a group of hooligans carrying a coffin to the residence of the Yar'Aduas. But when he became governor President Yar'Adua not only pardoned Bala but appointed him SA, and later supported him to be chairman of Katsina local government. How many modern day politicians would do that? Sadiq as we know him would never come close to being that magnanimous. That was why he couldn't even win a second term for the House of Reps, losing instead to a candidate that was otherwise very unpopular at the time.

I think it is also necessary to highlight the many inconsistencies and contradictions in Sadiq's ranting. Blinded by multiple failures and frustrations, perhaps Sadiq was unaware of the way he so pathetically contradicted himself in so many places. There he was making authoritative, even slanderous, remarks about somebody that he openly confessed is a mystery to him; he was ranting about too many appointments for Katsina while fighting tooth and nail to be appointed MD of NPA. Indeed I am shocked at Sadiq's audacity. This was somebody who met me in my capacity as a relation and political associate of the President begging me to take him to see the President to lobby for that position. The fact that he failed to get that appointment was really the basis for his frustrations; the man has no concern for anybody but himself. His claim that he cares for his country is a façade.

All this as I said earlier become necessary because it has become fashionable to criticize the President. Of course there is no crime in people voicing out their opinions on issues that concern their country; the President himself recognizes this and that is largely why he chose to ignore most of those unfair criticisms. But when opportunistic, overambitious, politically frustrated, self-serving people like Sadiq Saidu join in such criticism, it is necessary to alert the public about their real motive. This is the main reason for my intervention.

Hon. Zubairu Ali Gafai,

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