Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari monday wrote a personal letter to the family of the late publisher of Democrats newspaper and businessman, Malam Isma’ila Funtua, describing his demise as a major national loss.
Presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, said in the letter that his principal wrote in Hausa, he told the bereaved wife, Hajiya Hauwa Funtua, the children and the entire family members that the loss was not theirs alone, but also that of the entire country.
He said the president disclosed that “Malam Isma’ila was of great assistance to me and my administration. He helped in many ways to strengthen the government and the country before his ultimate demise.”
He also said the president recalled that “in his active politics, Malam Isma’ila served as a minister,” adding that “he was also a businessman and contractor who built several government buildings in Abuja.”
He quoted the president as saying: “Funtua was a director of Funtua Textile Mills for 30 years and chaired the Zamfara Textile Company.”
On his roles in the media, he noted that “Malam Isma’ila was a life executive member of the Board of the International Press Institute, IPI.”
According to the president, “Nigerians of all shades and backgrounds have nothing but kind words for him,” noting that “late Isma’ila was reputed throughout his life for his kindness, generosity and support for public causes, big and the not so big.”
He urged all those he left behind not to allow division in their ranks and prayed “to Allah to forgive the departed and grant him Aljannatul-Firdaus (Paradise).”