“I was fasting on that day. In fact, I’ve been fasting non-stop from when he fell ill, even after he died I did not stop. So when it was time for me to break my fast, he was lying down looking at me. I felt he does not want me to leave. I told him I was going to break my fast. He then shook his head and I left. I was later called and I met him struggling with his breath. That moment still lingers in my mind. I even quarried myself on why I left to break my fast, I should’ve stayed,” she said.
Despite her grief, Hajiya Turai Yar’Adua expressed gratitude to Allah for her husband’s life and the time they spent together. “I’m a Muslim. I know life and death are realities. I know Allah gives and takes life. So what can I do? I can only thank Allah who gave me and had taken it away. I can’t be angry with Him for taking his life. Praise be to Allah,” she said.
She also shared some happy moments from their marriage. “Our marriage was full of happiness. In fact, people were saying they had never seen our kind of relationship. I was like a new bride every day. That was why he always returned home straight from the office. So, even if I travelled, once I reached my destination he would be the first person I would call. That was what I really missed. The first time I travelled and no one called me to say ‘Turai how was your trip?’ That was the first time I cried over his death,” she said.
When asked about her relationship with her late husband’s political associates and those in President Jonathan’s administration after his death, she said, “We’ve been together. But truly, I’m a woman who does not involve myself in affairs that are not mine. But if I meet them, we exchange pleasantries as normal. But truly, there’s no problem.”
Finally, she offered some advice for the incoming First Lady. “She should be patient and continuously be patient. This is because if her husband would be like Umaru, who stood for the right course, she would be the target. That was what happened to me. My husband was not taking alcohol, he does not go after women and he was not corrupt. So the only thing they could do to upset him because he loved his wife, was to attack his wife.
So it’s natural. Whatever he doesn’t like, I don’t like either. When I was First Lady, I was cooking. I cook food for him.
“Even though I met a kitchen, I set up my own kitchen and engaged a private cook who I paid. So if you have a good understanding of your wife and you don’t quarrel, they would say your wife dominates you. It’s nothing but understanding. If you want to stay peacefully with your husband, avoid what he doesn’t like. That’s the panacea for peace.”
On her advice for Nigerians, “My advice to Nigerians and looking at how this country has become, they should continue to pray. Only prayers can heal Nigeria. The way things happened, only Allah will remedy the situation.
“Any mortal who says he can is telling lies. So both Muslims and Christians should pray for Nigeria. We’ve no other country but Nigeria. Even if we go into exile, we shall return to Nigeria, where we have our relations. May Allah uplift Nigeria and bring an end to these myriad of problems in an easy way,” she said.