A Promising Legacy Within the Yaradua Dynasty, a Comparison with the Kennedys, Senator AbdulAziz Yaradua

A Promising Legacy Within the Yaradua Dynasty, a Comparison with the Kennedys, Senator AbdulAziz Yaradua

By Muhammad Ayatullah Adeka & Aminu Ismaila

AREWA AGENDA – “In my history of The US founding and Constitution class, I had the rare privilege of reliving the experience of the constitutionalist and founding patrons of the country. It elicited a feeling of foundational belonging despite each representative having an entitlement to their colonies or settlement. This led to a brief conversation during the semester where a colleague of mine in a friendly conversation uttered “I love Aristocracy”.

Well, my radical response had to be heard, “I hate aristocrats, because of their elitism and…” a list of things identifiable with modern today. I may have defeated my colleague but not for too long. He responded, “I see what you are saying, but my reasons are tied to the values….” That made no sense even though I ended up writing an article on aristocratic values that shaped eschewed by leaders that end up being transcendental. Apparently, I was too hasty for a moment.

The case of Musa Yar’adua family presents a typical example of what virtuous aristocracy can bring to the building of the nation state.

The 10th National Assembly commences with a renewed commitment and a rejuvenated pursuit toward Nigeria’s unhindered democratic succession. This comes with a mixture of veterans, the newly elected, and experienced former governors coming into the Senate.

From the pool of “freshmen”’ comes Senator Abdulaziz Yaradua representing Katsina Central in North western Nigeria

The entry of Senator Yar’adua marks another moment for his constituents and enthusiasts of democracy globally as we spotlight family dynasties and their potential for impacting nation building and making their distinct mark in public service.

In this article, we highlight Senator Abdulaziz Yaradua, a distinguished member of the Yaradua family, and arguably the first bicameral  legislator of the dynasty’s siblings.

This opens up possibilities for making parallels to the Kennedy family as examples of counterparts across the Atlantic with a serendipitous trajectory in destinies of similar dynasties.

The authors of “The Democratic Imperative: Exporting the American Model” have noted that dynasties are not an inherent aberration to democracy but an opportunity to enhance it with their experience and public service. Thus, the oldest democracy in the world has had five political dynasties across two centuries since its inception. This includes notables such as Adams, the Roosevelts, and, most recently, the Bush family.

The dynasty began with the late Patriarch of the Family and Mutawallen Katsina Musa Yar’adua a parliamentarian himself  who held two ministerial portfolios in the Tafawa Balewa Cabinet. However, the family name was shot into the limelight when an illustrious son, Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’adua became the defacto “Second in Command” to General to the Head of State following the 1976 Coup.

Since the late General SM Yar’adua’s passing, Shehu’s beacon of political light and values have arguably been responsible for shaping political decisions, contests, and prodigies since 1999 including the late Umaru Musa Yar’adua’s ascension to Presidency in 2007.

Beneficiaries of such illustrious mentorship in the early 90s were two of the prominent aspirants of APC and PDP at the 2023 presidential elections.

As a significant member of the Yaradua dynasty today, Senator Abdulaziz Yaradua continuing his family’s  history and advancing Nigeria’s unity and prosperity. The senator’s career began as a disciplined and commissioned military officer of the Army’s Signal Corps, mirroring his elder brother’s path and earning him the moniker “Audu Soja”. Despite being the pen ultimate child among his mother’s children, he heeded to his father’s call for higher education and joined the famous brothers in becoming the third university graduate from the men of a large family and a distinguished engineer in his own right. Senator Abdulaziz Yaradua has had a stint at being dependable on security issues to Tinubu’s delight while in the recent past also had a brief stint as an administrator of the country’s Rural Electrification agency under Buhari’s stewardship.

In a manner similar to the Kennedy family in the United States, the Yar’aduas are not without trials of their own. Shehu Yar’adua could be paralleled to Robert F Kennedy who died as a prominent political figure outside of an official capacity compared the Umaru Yar’adua and John F Kennedy died in very similar official capacities. Beyond the trials however were similar shared convictions, progressive ideals and activist mindsets that were championed by Shehu-RFK and Umaru-JFK positions and situations respectively. They never missed their marks in setting stones and policies that etched them in the hearts, projects and legacies of admiration today.

Senator Abdulaziz Yaradua could end up learning from his late Senator Kennedy counterpart in history with hopefully a longer lifespan and influence etched in the Red Chamber of the NASS. While in a similar vein expected to continue on their family’s tradition, he has his own priorities and goals which include helping the Tinubu administration with bills to improve infrastructure and ensure long term economic growth. His dedication to educational reforms and constituency empowerment projects sensitive to the needs of his community is further evidence of his intention to improve his people’s lot in life. The tall and elegant leader with a built statute also is best fit to the role of a “bridge builder”. Tinubu could find a dependable “Senator Biden” in him capable of working across party lines to accomplish shared goals, a quality that is consistent with his family’s tradition.

Judging from the bios of the dynasty’s own youngest politicians, it is clear that both men forged their unique own paths while inheriting a powerful history. Senator Yar’adua did not have an easy path to political victory today as the family name was not enough to e arn him a victory in at least 4 different contests he was involved in between 2011 and 2019. The Yaradua dynasty has been characterized by a devotion to democratic values, social equality, and inclusive governance. Senator Yaradua shares these values.

Expectations are high as Senator Abdul a ziz Yaradua pursues his political career. He holds a promising place in the Yaradua dynasty due to his unshakable commitment to the values supported by his family and his vision for a prosperous Nigeria. By taking a cue from his predecessor’s accomplishments, traditions, and values in pursuing a better future through their dedication to public service, social advancement, and economic prosperity.

Like the late Senator Kennedy, Senator Yaradua represents the promise and h ope of his people and his constituents toward a better political system for his Katsina state and Nigeria’s evolving democracy.


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