…Buhari, Obasanjo, governors, others mourn
Prominent Nigerians have continued to pay tribute to Second Republic Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, who died on Wednesday morning at the age of 85.
Balarabe Musa, who was also the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), died at his residence in Kaduna after a brief illness.
His remains were buried at Isa Kaita cemetery according to Islamic rites after a funeral prayer, led by Dr Ahmad Gumi at Sultan Bello Mosque, Kaduna around 4 pm.
Daily Trust observed that hundreds of people attended the funeral at the mosque, among them former governors, political office holders as well as religious and traditional leaders.
Those that joined the funeral prayers included former governors of Kaduna State, Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero and Abba Musa Rimi who succeeded Balarabe Musa after he was impeached.
A former presidential aspirant and business tycoon, Lema Jibril; Kaduna State Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Balarabe Lawal Abbas; Vice Chancellor Kaduna State University, Professor Abubakar Tanko; the District Head of Gabasawa, Alhaji Shitu Ibrahim Dikko; commissioners in the state and many business associates and religious leaders were also in attendance.
As a first republic politician, Balarabe Musa’s political exploits spanned decades; he was an active member of the Northern Elements Progressively Union (NEPU).
In the second republic, he teamed up with Malam Aminu Kano to form the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) on whose ticket he was elected governor of Kaduna State in 1979. He was impeached by the state House of Assembly in 1981.
The former governor was a presidential candidate of the PRP in 2007 and in 2011, contested for the governorship seat of Kaduna State but lost to late Governor Patrick Yakowa.
In 2018, Balarabe Musa retired from active politics and stepped down as PRP’s national chairman. He was succeeded by Falalu Bello, a former managing director of Unity Bank Plc.
The former governor was until his death the party’s Board of Trustees’ chairman and had consistently made his views public on national issues.
Daily Trust reports that throughout his life, Balarabe Musa maintained a friendly relation with the media and kept his home open to all.
Last instruction to children
The eldest son of late Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa recalled his last encounter with his father, saying before his death, Balarabe Musa had asked him and his siblings to visit the family of late Dan Iyan Zazzau, Alhaji Yusuf Ladan, who died on Tuesday.
Dr Ibrahim Balarabe Musa, said the late Dan Iyan Zazzau, Yusuf Ladan, was his father’s classmate.
Dr Ibrahim said: “I spoke with him this morning and even yesterday (Tuesday). On Tuesday he told us his friend and classmate, Alhaji Yusuf Ladan, had died and asked us to go and console the family. He had been ill for some time now but he got well and then all of a sudden, he died this morning. We believe his time has come.”
President Muhammadu Buhari said the late Balarabe Musa will be missed by all Nigerians, who have diligently followed his antecedents as a voice for the voiceless.
President Buhari, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, said Alhaji Musa reflected the passion and vigour that heralded Nigeria’s independence, which steadily translated into activism for return to democracy at the height of military interregnum and had remained steadfast in the call for good and inclusive governance.
Buhari added that the deceased left a bold footprint on Nigeria’s democracy, and his role in promoting good governance and development would be remembered and appreciated by posterity.
A former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, also yesterday paid glowing tributes to the Second Republic Governor of Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, describing him as a patriot who made invaluable contributions to Nigeria’s political evolution.
Obasanjo, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, said the late former governor of Kaduna State brought renewed activism, verve and resourcefulness to bear on the nation’s polity.
“It is so sad! Nigeria has lost another democrat, a consistent fighter and outspoken voice for the talakawas; one of the few that reached beyond the frontiers of unnatural political division in our country,” Gbenga Daniel said.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan similarly described late Balarabe Musa as a principled political leader who, throughout his life, consistently championed the cause of the masses.
Lawan, in a statement by his media aide, Ola Awoniyi, said the former governor shunned material benefits and remained on the path of his convictions all through his long and illustrious political career.
The Northern Governors Forum described him as a political giant who demonstrated patriotism, passion and selflessness in his engagements.
Chairman of the forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, said the late Balarabe Musa spoke out against oppression, injustice, corruption and crime with such passion that clearly motivated many younger persons to fight for the cause of democracy and also see public office as a platform for service.
Also, Senator Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe) described the death of the foremost politician as a great loss, saying his demise has created a huge vacuum that would be hard to fill by any statesman.
A former governor of Sokoto State, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, described him as a dogged and rare democrat, saying his death was a colossal loss not only to his immediate family or Kaduna State but to the country in general.
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State described the late Balarabe Musa as a true patriot who made his views known on national issues in an unbiased manner and contributed in several other ways to nation-building.
The governor, through his spokesman, Terver Akase, said Nigeria will miss Alhaji Musa who, for many years, was a voice of the masses calling for good governance and improved standard of living for Nigerians.
The Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) described Balarabe Musa as an indefatigable warrior in the battle for the liberation and material upliftment of the common man.
PRP National Chairman, Mallam Falalu Bello, in a statement, said, “Alhaji Balarabe, throughout his life, never left the trenches of the struggle. He stood to the very end with the oppressed multitudes, against all manner of harassment, deprivations and provocations, truly a colossus in the struggles for Nigeria’s emancipation. The best tribute we can pay to his memory is to rededicate ourselves to the struggle he committed his life to.”
An elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai said late Balarabe Musa was strong on his principles to the point that he never allowed poverty to push him into compromising them.
Yakasai, 95, said the death of the former Kaduna State governor has robbed Nigeria of one of its shiniest examples of selfless politicians.
A former governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, who was at the burial, said the death of Alhaji Balarabe Musa has created a vacuum in northern and Nigerian politics. He urged politicians to learn the kind of political consistency that has defined Balarabe Musa’s decades of politics in PRP.
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) also described the late Balarabe Musa as someone who devoted the rest of his life to the struggle to improve the life of the ordinary Nigerian.
The ACF, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, said Nigeria will remember Balarabe Musa as the last man standing in the war against corruption, exploitation and dictatorship.
Similarly, Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai said the late Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa will be remembered as a progressive politician who tried in his time as governor to expand the horizons of opportunity for ordinary people.
El-Rufai, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye on Wednesday, said his government was proud of the public service that Balarabe Musa rendered to the state and its people.
The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) and the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) have also expressed sadness over the death of the elder statesman,
They said in their separate statements that Balarabe Musa died with his allegiance to the country unquestionable and his integrity intact.
The National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) and the vice president, Industrial Global Union, Comrade Issa Aremu, said the life and times of Alhaji Balarabe Musa showed that “The strength of leaders in a federation is as important as the constitutional structures.”
Niger State Governor and Chairman, North Central Governors Forum (NCGF), Abubakar Sani Bello, said the deceased was a politician with passion who represented different things to different individuals.
He said his contribution to democracy in the country will not be forgotten in a hurry.
The Chairman of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Anambra State chapter, Chief Demian Okeke-Ogene, called on the federal government to immortalise the late Balarabe Musa for his immense contributions to the nation’s democratic development.
Okeke-Ogene said the former governor lived a worthy life that deserved to be immortalised.