Saraki, Dogara, Atiku, Governors, others mourn
Tributes yesterday poured in from all parts of Nigeria following the death of a former Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule. He was said to have died in an Egyptian hospital early yesterday morning. Following his death, the Kano State government has declared today a public holiday in the state to enable residents of the state mourn the man, who held the title, Dan Masanin Kano.
The death of Sule was announced by the head of the family, Sani Adamu, in a statement. One of his sons, Alhaji Mukhtar Sule, who also confirmed the incident, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano that his father died in the early hours of yesterday in a hospital in Cairo, Egypt.
He said that Sule passed on at 87, and left a wife and four children. The Kano State Commissioner for Information, Mallam Muhammad Garba said the government was sad to announce the death of the elder statesman.
Some of those who paid tribute included a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara; Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, Dave Umahi of Ebonyi, among other dignitaries.
Atiku said that the unblemished public service record was one of the greatest and most indelible virtues for which Sule would be remembered by Nigerians and the world. In a statement by his Media Office in Abuja, Atiku noted that the deceased was one of Nigeria’s greatest and most remarkable politicians, whose vast experience, knowledge and wisdom were invaluable and immeasurable.
Dogara described the death of Sule as a monumental loss to the African continent. Dogara, in a statement, issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, said although the late Dan Masanin Kano was of age, the sad news of his death came to him as a shock.
“From struggle for independence, to his stewardship as a Federal MP, Federal Commissioner of public complaints, to his service as Nigeria’s permanent Representative to the United Nations, Alhaji Maitama Sule’ s record of public service was excellent, exemplary and worthy of emulation.”
Tambuwal described the death of Sule, as a great loss, saying the deceased impacted the nation positively in various spheres of human endeavour. In a statement issued in Sokoto by his spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal described the late orator and former diplomat as a complete gentleman and good citizen, who dedicated his life to the unity, progress and development of Nigeria.
“Our country has lost a rare breed. A leading light from the old generation has been extinguished. He was a complete gentleman whose honesty, commitment and dedication to the unity of Nigeria will forever be cherished.”
Umahi, who is also the Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum, said:“As Nigeria’s representative to the United Nations in 1979, Maitama Sule was known for his pragmatic and blunt disposition to equity and fairness of all member nations and as a politician of great repute, he was the Chairman of the United Nations’ Special Committee against Apartheid, a committee he gave good account of himself and made Nigeria proud”
Also speaking, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, described Sule as a forthright leader with a generous spirit.
The Minister, in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr Yinka Oyebode, described the late Ambassador as a distinguished leader, political thinker, strategist and foremost diplomat. Also, the National President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, expressed sadness over the death of Sule.
He described Sule as an elder statesman and detribalised Nigerian. “Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule is a patriot. He devoted his life fighting for the unity and stability of Nigeria. He represented a voice for the voiceless tribes in the country.”
Saraki, expressed shock over the news of the death of e Sule, saying that with his death, Nigeria has lost a great nationalist. In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki described the late Sule as a detribalized Nigerian, who spoke truth at all times during his lifetime.
Saraki said: “The news of the demise of Alhaji Maitama Sule, came to me with shock.
This is one man that has become a permanent feature in the politics of the country, beginning from first republic when he was appointed a minister at his youthful age. Also, the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, expressed deep grief over the death