Omololu Ogunmade and Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have mourned the death of Senator Mustapha Bukar, who is the third lawmaker to die in the last three weeks.
Bukar, who was representing Katsina North, died in Abuja after a brief illness.
He was also the senator representing President Buhari, who is from Daura, Katsina State.
His death yesterday, came less than three weeks after that of Senator Ali Wakili (Bauchi APC) on March 17, 2018, and Deputy House Leader, Hon. Buba Jibrin (Kogi APC) on March 30, 2018.
Buhari commiserated with the government and people of Katsina State and the National Assembly on the passing away of Bukar.
The president described his death as a â€œgreat loss to Nigeriaâ€™s democracy and the engineering profession.â€™â€™
In a statement signed by his spokesman Garba Shehu, Buhari extended his condolences to the family members, friends and professional colleagues of the legislator, whom he said distinguished himself as an engineer before vying for political office to serve his people.
He recalled that as a young engineer, the deceased used his ingenuity to proffer a lasting solution to the perennial water crisis in Katsina, working variously as a General Manager of the Water Board, Director of National Water Rehabilitation Project and Director, Water Supply at the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
â€œSenator Bukar was so dedicated to his responsibilities and hardworking that he got an appointment with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, where he also demonstrated the same dedication and passion for service.
â€œI am always touched by the death of dedicated and creative public servants like Sen. Bukar. We should emulate such rare and hardworking Nigerians for the progress of our country,â€™â€™ he said.
The president prayed that Allah will bless and forgive the soul of the deceased.
On his part, Saraki, in a statement described the death as one too many.
â€œI am saddened to learn about the passing of another friend and colleague, Senator Bukar. When I and some of my colleagues visited Bukar in the hospital after Jummat prayers last Friday, we prayed with him and we were filled with hope that he would soon recuperate and resume his normal life and legislative activities,â€ he said.
Saraki lauded the late lawmaker, who he noted, stood out for the quality of his contributions on the floor, his pragmatism and his work to strengthen the institution of the legislature.
â€œWe shall sorely miss his vibrancy and progressive mindset. But now that he is no more, we cannot query Almighty Allah over the incident because He gives and takes as it pleases Him. The late Bukar was forthright and gentle in all his dealings,â€
â€œThis is indeed another painful moment for the Senate, a sad moment for his immediate family, his constituents in Katsina North senatorial district and the people and government of Katsina State. As we mourn his passing, my thoughts and prayers are with his family, President Muhammadu Buhari and the government and people of Katsina State,â€Saraki added.
Also, Ekweremadu expressed grief at Bukarâ€™s death, and described it as a heavy blow to the Senate and the entire nation.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser (Media), Mr. Uche Anichukwu, the Deputy Senate President said Bukar was a fine gentleman, diligent, perceptive and humble.
â€œHe was a pan-Nigerian and a pro-masses lawmaker, who showed great interest in finding lasting solution to the nationâ€™s perennial energy problem. He will be sorely missed. I send heartfelt condolences to his immediate family, the government of Katsina State, and his constituents, particularly President Buhari,â€ he said.
Ekweremadu also prayed God to grant eternal rest to the soul of the departed and support the late senatorâ€™s family, the people of Katsina State, and the nation with the fortitude to bear the irreversible loss.
In the same vein, Dogara said he received with sadness and shock, the news of Bukarâ€™s death.
He described Bukar as a fine gentleman who exhibited high moral disposition and earned respect from his colleagues and associates. â€œThis is a great loss and painful one for that matter, especially coming at a time when we are still mourning the passing away of two of our colleagues, and distinguished lawmakers.
â€œBukar was a respected lawmaker, a fine gentleman who carried himself with a lot of dignity and contributed immensely to the growth of the parliament and democracy in general. He was a patriotic politician whose exploits in the Senate were eventful.â€