- Buhari sends powerful delegation to funeral
- Atiku, Saraki, Dogara, others mourn former governor
Ibrahim Shuaibu in Katsina
The former Governor of the old Kaduna State, Lawal Kaita, was wednesday buried at the Damarina cemetery in Katsina State.
Prominent personalities who attended the rite included a federal government delegation comprising the Minister of Defence, Brig-General Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd); Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
Kaita died last Tuesday in a hospital in Abuja after a protracted illness. He was aged 85.
The funeral prayer for the deceased was led by Mustapha Liman at the palace of the Emir of Katsina.
Other dignitaries who attended the funeral were the Deputy Governor of Katsina State, Mannir Yakubu; Emir of Daura, Umar Farouq, and the Lamido of Adamawa, Barkindo Mustapha.
The Director-General SMEDAN, Dikko Radda, member House of Representatives representing Kankia/Kusada/Ingawa, Ahmad Babba; traditional rulers and religious leaders from across the country also attended the burial.
Lawal Kaita left behind a wife, children and grandchildren.
The deceased was elected governor of old Kaduna State on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) between October and December 1983.
Meanwhile, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara yesterday mournedKaita.
Reacting to the demise of the former governor, Atiku described him as a fearless democrat whose immense contribution to Nigeria’s democratic struggles would be etched in brass.
The former vice president said Kaita, who was his political associate, was a man of remarkable virtues who inspired whoever interacted with him.
According to him, few Nigerian politicians have the courage to disagree with the people in power in order to sustain political patronage for survival.
Atiku explained that the late Kaita was never afraid to speak his mind in pursuit of his principles, including his insistence that political parties must respect internal democracy in order to be credible.
The Waziri Adamawa noted that the late Kaita had left an unblemished public service record because politicians of his generation were motivated by the passion for service.
He recalled that his close association with the Kaita was a beneficial experience because he was a man of vast knowledge of politics and its intricacies.
While extending his condolences to the government, family and the people of Katsina and Kaduna States, Atiku prayed to Allah to grant the deceased eternal rest in paradise.
Also, Saraki described Kaita’s demise as a great loss not only to Katsina and Kaduna States but to the entire country.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki described late Kaita as a courageous, experienced and consummate politician, who was always frank in his views and honest in his political activities.
“I consider the death of Kaita as a personal loss to me and my family considering his long mutual and beneficial relationship with my late father, Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki, which he graciously extended to me.
“As a father, I benefitted immensely from his wise counsel and support at different times. His death has robbed the nation of a gentleman, fearless and honest politician who thrived on building good relationships for the purpose of better serving his people,” he stated.
Saraki extended his condolences to the immediate family of the late politician, President Muhammadu Buhari, the Emir of Katsina and the people and government of Katsina and Kaduna States. He also prayed the Almighty Allah to grant the late elder statesman a place in Aljannah firdaus.
On his part, Dogara expressed sadness over Kaita’s death. In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, the Speaker described the late elder statesman as a man of outstanding character and a committed democrat, who devoted his life to working for the development of democracy in Nigeria.
While noting the exploits and positive contributions of late Kaita as a member of Constituent Assembly that midwifed Nigeria’s Constitution and governor of the old Kaduna State, Dogara said he would continue to be remembered for his selfless service, patriotism and abiding faith in the unity and progress of the country.
“Kaita was a very courageous man who left a legacy of service and built bridges of friendship and unity across the North and the country in general.
“He will continue to be honoured and remembered by present and future generations for his dedication to the service of his people during his tenure as a governor and even after.
“Painful as his death is, we are however consoled with the fact that Kaita left an indelible footprint and legacy of service to the society as well as commitment to the ideals of democracy and nationhood.”
While condoling with the bereaved family, the government and people of Katsina State, Dogara prayed God Almighty to grant the deceased eternal rest.
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State said Kaita made invaluable contributions to the development of the country.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, The governor said: “He was an acclaimed pacesetter who, along with other patriotic Nigerians of his generation, fought for the restoration of democracy in Nigeria at the turn of the century. His life is an example in dedication and commitment to democratic norms and values.
“Nigeria will remember the deceased as a man who gave his best years towards the development of multi-party politics. His contributions have enriched governance process at state and federal levels,” he added.
While praying to Allah to grant the deceased eternal rest and his family the fortitude to bear the loss, Tambuwal appealed to both the Kaduna and Katsina State governments to immortalise the deceased for the benefit of future generation.
Former Governor of Abia State and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Orji Kalu, also lamented the demise of Kaita.
While extolling the virtues of the deceased, Kalu acknowledged the roles played by the late Kaita in the political development of Nigeria.
He stressed that the demise of the consummate politician has created a big vacuum in the Nigerian political space.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Kunle Oyewumi, Kalu noted that the late elder statesman’s wise counsel on national issues would be greatly missed.
He said: “Nigeria has lost yet another consummate politician and patriotic statesman, Kaita.
“The deceased was forthright, bold and selfless in his pursuits. He left behind worthy legacies for other politicians to emulate.
“May Allah forgive his shortcomings and grant him Al- Jannah Firdaus.
The APC chieftain, while commiserating with President Muhammadu Buhari, Katsina Emirate Council and the government and people of Katsina State, prayed to Allah to grant the Kaita family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Similarly, the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, described Kaita as a quintessential and courageous leader.
In a statement, El-Rufai said both Kaduna and Katsina States and the country as a whole have lost a model for present and future leaders.
He noted that Kaita exhibited courage in leadership and patriotism in all his political engagements in his lifetime.
The statement signed by Samuel Aruwan, spokesman of the governor, said: “Alhaji Lawal Kaita was a quintessential and courageous leader who served the old Kaduna state meritoriously with dedication and commitment in the course of “As an elected governor of the old Kaduna State, he contributed immensely to the development, unity and progress of the old state.
“Alhaji Kaita was a patriot and a role model for present and future leaders. May Allah grant his soul Aljanna Firdausi and comfort his immediate family.”
On its part, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, APC said Kaita would be remembered for his courageous and principled lifestyle.
“We express our deep condolences to his family, government, Katsina Emirate and people of his home state of Katsina and Kaduna state where he governed under the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN)
“The Kaita was a courageous and principled leader who stood firm and fearlessly canvassed causes he believed in.
The party recalled his outstanding tenure and service as member of the 1994–1995 Constitutional Conference; leader of Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) which largely metamorphosed to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when the fourth republic was birthed and one of the founding members of the Action Congress (AC) in 2006.
“Indeed, the country has lost one of its first-rate and influential politicians who made solid contributions to the politics, political party and democratic development of the country.