Thousands Pay Last Respects as Maitama Sule is Laid to Rest in Kano


• Shettima, Ikpeazu, Obi, others mourn

Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano and Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia

Thousands of mourners on Tuesday witnessed the burial of elder statesman and former Nigerian Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule, in Kano.
Sule died in Cairo, Egypt, last Monday after a protracted illness. He was aged 88.
His remains were laid to rest yesterday at the popular cemetery called Wali Mai Zage at Kofar Mazugal in Dala Local Government Area after prayers were conducted at exactly 5.55p.m. and led by the Chief Imam of Kano, Professor Sani Zaharadeen.

The remains of Danmasanin Kano were flown into the city aboard air force plane with registration number NAF 913.
At the air force airstrip, the body was received by the federal government delegation led by Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Abba Kyari; Minister of Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika; Governors of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, and his counterparts from Jigawa, Bauchi , Sokoto, Borno States, among others.

Other federal government delegation were the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Sulaiman Adamu; Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris.

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Mr. Sulieman Abdurrahman, also attended the funeral prayers of the late icon.
As soon as the aircraft touched down, his body was taken to his residence at Dawaki Road.
His body also arrived at the emir’s palace at exactly 5.32p.m.

He was interred at his final resting place where his father and eldest son were also buried at exactly6.18p.m.
Men in multi-coloured traditional robes thronged the emir’s palace in Kofar Kudu for the Islamic rites of the deceased.

Speaking with THISDAY in Kano, the former Deputy Senate President in the Second Republic, Mamman Abubakar Danmusa, said: “The death of Sule was a great loss to the country and Africa in general.”
Danmusa added: “Sule was a detribalised Nigerian who really loved his country and was always ready when he was called upon to render his service to the nation. He was always ready to serve his country, and Nigerians will never forget his contributions to nation building.

“The nation has lost an honest elder that meant well for all Nigerians.”
A student of the deceased, Professor Dandatti Abdulkadir, said: “Sule was like a father to us, and he always attended to our problems by immediately solving them. I knew him since when he was our teacher, and I believe that he died without having bank account because all his wealth is for public use. He had a mud house which is close to Kofar Nassarawa by SAS junction in Kano.”

Also speaking of the late icon, Senator Kanti Bello described his demise as a great loss to the country.
He said: “Sule was an inspiring leader and his contribution to the national issues was so inspiring. He was the truly Danmasanin Kano and he always stood for truth.”

 The who’s who in the  political arena, including northern elders and diplomats, attended the funeral prayers.
Others in attendance included a former Inspector General of Police (IG) and Sardauna Katsina, Alhaji Ibrahim Commassie; Professor Ango Abdullahi, Minister of Interior, General Abdurrahman Danbazau (rtd), former Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Bello Hayatu Gwarzo; former Minister of Defence, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed; former Minster of Police Affairs, Mr. Yerima Ngama, and Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
Dignitaries who also attended were the Speaker of Kano State House of Assembly, Mr. Yusuf Abdullahi Ata; Alhaji Ismaila Isa Funtua, among others.

Businesses and shops were shut and roads were clogged with sympathisers along the emir’s palace road leading to the cemetery for the burial.
Meanwhile, Borno State Governor, Kassim Shettima, Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi and the leadership of the South-east Council of Traditional Rulers yesterday joined other eminent Nigerians to mourn the demise of Sule.

Ikpeazu expressed his deep sorrow in a condolence message issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Enyinnaya Appolos, describing the departed diplomat as “a major stabilising influence in Nigeria” who would surely be missed.
The governor who condoled with his Kano State counterpart, Ganduje, the emirate council and people of the state on the death of the frontline nationalist, extolled his sterling qualities.

Also, Shettima was in Kano yesterday afternoon where he joined other dignitaries to receive the body of late elder statesman, describing his demise as one of the biggest losses Nigeria has suffered this year.

On his part, Obai said the elder statesman was one of the greatest nationalists ever produced by Nigeria, describing his death as a sad loss not only to his family and Kano State but to the entire nation.

Not left out of the condolences was the Chairman of the South-east Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Eberechi Dick, who condoled with the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, the government and people of Kano State.
He described the former Nigerian Permanent Representative to the UN as a detribalised Nigerian who had contributed a lot to the development of the nation.
Also, the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) commiserated with the government and people of Kano State over the death of Sule.

 The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, in a condolence letter yesterday sent to the state governor, Ganduje, described Sule as a worker, a politician, a diplomat and a national icon who opened his doors to all Nigerians irrespective of their creed.

Wabba described the late elder statesman  as a man of personable character, intense knowledge, good humour and inimitable oratorical skill,  a nationalist and one of the last symbols of the golden era of Nigeria.

“It was with a profound sense of loss and yet gratitude to God whose will in our lives we cannot question, that I, on behalf of the NLC, write to console the government and people of Kano State  on the death of our elder statesman and Danmasanin Kano
“We commend your excellency for having the presence of mind to declare a day of mourning in honour of this elder statesman. We, however, would urge your excellency to go a step further and immortalise his name at the appropriate time,” he said.