Balarabe Musa Buried amidst Tributes from Buhari, Jonathan, Tinubu, Others

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Balarabe Musa

Omololu Ogunmade, Chuks Okocha in Abuja, John Shiklam and George Okoh in Makurdi

The remains of Second Republic Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, were interred yesterday in Kadua as tributes poured in for the late politician.

The late Musa, a left-wing politician, died earlier yesterday at the age of 84.

President Muhammadu Buhari, his predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the National Leader, All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, governors and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), among others, paid tribute to Musa who governed Kaduna State from October 1979 until he was impeached on June 23, 1981.

The former governor was buried according to Islamic rites after prayers at the Sultan Bello Mosque at the Anguwan Sarki Cemetery, Kaduna.

Thousands of sympathisers trooped out to pay him their last respects.

Governors Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State; Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State; former Senate President, Senator David Mark and Minister of Interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola also expressed sadness over the death of the former governor.

Musa’s death was announced by his political associate and former senator, Shehu Sani.

“Alhaji Balarabe Musa has died. May Allah forgive his souls and grant him Aljanna firdausi.

Amin,” Sani tweeted.

Reacting to Musa’s death, Buhari, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, condoled with the government and people of Kaduna State.

He said the deceased would be sorely missed by all Nigerians who followed his antecedents as a voice for the voiceless.

Buhari stated that Musa reflected the passion and vigour that heralded Nigeria’s independence, which he steadily translated into activism for a return to democracy at the height of military interregnum.

According to him, the deceased remained steadfast in the call for good and inclusive governance and he has left bold footprints on Nigeria’s democratic landscape.

He added that Musa’s role in promoting good governance and development will always be remembered and appreciated by posterity.

Jonathan also expressed sadness over the death of the Second Republic governor.

In a condolence message to the government and people of the state, the former president described Musa as a sincere politician who protected the interest of the people.

He noted that the late Musa was a highly principled politician who avoided convenient politics and pursued his beliefs, even at the risk of suffering personal losses.

Jonathan said: “Alhaji Balarabe Musa was a sincere and committed patriot and statesman who held fast to people-oriented progressive ideals throughout his political life.

“As a democrat, Musa avoided convenient politics and was passionate and courageous about his views. He was a highly principled man who relentlessly pursued his beliefs, even at the risk of suffering personal and career setbacks.”

Tinubu also mourned the former governor, describing him as a principled and committed progressive politician.

In a condolence message by his Media Office and signed by Mr. Tunde Rahman, Tinubu said the deceased would be missed by Nigerians, particularly the downtrodden whom he fought for all his life.

The APC leader said: “The passing on Wednesday of the first civilian governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, is saddening. His demise is a blow to the progressives and all those committed to the socio-political development of the country.

“He provided leadership for the political class. As the Chairman, Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Alhaji Musa led the parties to demand positive change in the political space. Although he lived to an advanced age of 84, he would be sorely missed by the political class, indeed by the entire country for his consistent struggle and commitment to social and economic change.”

El-Rufai, in a statement signed by his media aide, Mr. Muyiwa Adekeye, also said Musa would be remembered as a progressive politician who tried to expand the horizons of opportunity for ordinary people.”

He added that as governor, the late Musa made notable contributions towards industrialising Kaduna State.

Fayemi also commiserated with the government and people of Kaduna State on the death of Musa.

Fayemi, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, described the late former governor as an icon of democracy in Nigeria and a champion of the downtrodden.

Fayemi, who is also the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), said the late Musa was a politician who gave his all to the people he served without expecting anything in return.

He noted that the late Musa was a highly-principled politician who saw public service as a sacrifice and not an opportunity to acquire wealth as he lived a simple life throughout his lifetime.

Fayemi described the late governor as a father figure of opposition politics who spoke truth to the government without fear or favour.

He also described the late Musa as a rallying point of progressive politics in the North and a respected voice in the quest for a better Nigeria.

On his part, Ganduje, described the death of Musa as a great loss to the country, particularly to democracy.

Ganduje, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Abba Anwar, extended his condolences to the deceased’s family, the government of Kaduna State as well as friends and well-wishers.

On his part, Ortom said the death of the elder statesman was a loss to the country.
Ortom described the deceased as a true patriot who made his views known on national issues in an unbiased manner and contributed in other ways to nation building.

The governor made this known through a press statement by his media aide, Mr Terver Akase, in Makurdi.

Also, Mark described the demise of Musa as a big blow to the struggle for the emancipation of the oppressed in the country.

In his condolence message, Aregbesola said Musa’s death caught him totally unaware.
“I was with the son, Kassim, until 2000 hours of yesterday, November 10, 2020. There was no hint of sickness or death.

‘It is therefore a huge shock and surprise that our leader and pillar in the struggle to build a just, humane and progressive society in Nigeria has returned to his maker; never again to be part of those patriotic efforts to make Nigeria very great and leader in the African renaissance,” he said.

Aregbesola described the former governor as “a patriot, democrat, socialist, consummate defender of the poor, advocate of social and economic justice, promoter of human rights, liberty and dignity and, above all, a very good man.”

“He was a man of steely resolve on principles, yet soft to the core in relations with people.”

In its condolence message, the PDP said it was grieved by the death of the elder statesman.
The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, described Musa’s death as a huge national loss given his steadfastness, patriotic contributions and zeal in fighting for the unity, stability and development of our nation.
“Alhaji Musa was a forthright leader, an embodiment of ideals, who spent better part of his life championing the entrenchment of justice, equity, fairness and rule of law in every sector of our national life, despite the challenges he faced.

“Our party commiserates with the Balarabe Musa family, the government and people of Kaduna state, as well as his friends and associates even as we pray that the Almighty God grants eternal repose to his soul and fortitude to the family and the nation at large, to bear this irreparable loss,” the party stated.

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and the Kaduna chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said the late Musa devoted his life to the struggle to improve the condition of the masses.

The ACF, in a statement by Emmanuel Yawe, its spokesman, said the late Musa would be remembered as the last man that stood against corruption, exploitation and dictatorship.
On his part, the state CAN Chairman, Rev. Joseph Hayab, said the late Musa was a governor for everybody.

“As governor, he came with the idea of industrialising Kaduna State. He established cottage industries across local governments in the old Kaduna State,” he added.

The late Musa was considered a progressive and worked with people of like minds to mobilise against the military junta of the late Gen. Sani Abacha.

He was born on August 21, 1936, in Kaya, Kaduna State.

He attended Zaria Middle School from 1947 to 1952 and was at the Institute of Administration, Zaria, from 1952 to 1953.

As governor, Musa, elected on the platform of the defunct People’s Redemption Party (PRP), was prevented from constituting a cabinet by the state House of Assembly, dominated by the opposition National Party of Nigeria (NPN) members.

Eventually, the lawmakers sacked him in June 1981, making him the first Nigerian state governor to be removed from office.

On August 31, 2010, he quit active politics due to health issues and announced his immediate resignation as chairman of the PRP, which he resuscitated after the rebirth of democracy in 1999.