President Paul Kagame today travels to Nigeria where has been invited by his counterpart ,Umaru Yar’Adua to become the guest speaker at the tenth anniversary of the death of former Nigerian leader Maj. Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua.
Shehu Musa Yar’Adua was a brother to current Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua, and served as former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Chief of Staff (1977-1979), before standing for presidency in 1992.
He was imprisoned in 1995 and died in prison in 1998.
Musa Yar’Adua was considered a courageous leader among many accomplishments Perhaps most significant was the administration’s successful conducting of elections and historic hand over to democratic rule in 1979.
As the first military leaders to voluntarily hand over power in Africa, Gen. Obasanjo and Gen. Yar’Adua recognized that enthronement of democracy was the only way to ensure stability and social harmony in the country.
Even when his death sentence was passed, Shehu Yar’Adua’s spirit and determination were not broken. From Kirikiri Prison in 1995, he wrote, “Don’t worry too much about me. It is the sacrifice some of us must make for our country to be free.”
Others attending this year’s event include Obasanjo and several other distinguished personalities from across the globe.
Kagame’s speech at the ceremony to be held in Abudja is about “Challenges of Nation-Building”. Liberia’s President Dr Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was the guest speaker at the ninth commemoration.
Other previous guest speakers include former South African President, Nelson Mandela, Ghanaian President John Kufour, Pakistan’s assassinated former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, former Mozambique President, Joaquim Chissano and former US Ambassador Andrew Young, among others.