“Ndi-Igbo will never forget in a hurry how this enigma helped to smuggle a lot of our people to safety during the great pogrom of 1966.”
A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has mourned the late Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, saying the monarch was like a father to him.
In a personal tribute to the deceased, the former Vice President said that his relationship with the late Emir was of a father and his favourite son spanning over three decades.
According to him, Nigeria had lost a crusader for peace, stability and unity at a time his services were still badly needed by the country.
He recalled the significant contributions of Ado Bayero to sustaining the unity of Nigeria during the January 15, 1966 political crisis, a role that earned him the respect of the late Dim Chukuemeka Odumegu Ojukwu.
The former Vice President extolled the late Ado Bayero’s integrity and his remarkable character, adding that the late Emir had always associated himself with the progress and development of his people.
He condoled with the family, the people and the government of Kano State over the death of Mr. Bayero.
Also, Kabiru Turaki, the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, expressed shock over the death of the monarch on Friday.
This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister, Okey Muogbo.
In the statement, Mr. Turaki described the late Bayero as a man who worked tirelessly for the people of his Emirate and the Nigerian nation at large.
“By the death of the Emir, Nigeria has lost a great father, patriot and nationalist whose contributions to the stability of Nigeria was enormous.
“Through the hospitality of the late emir, the emirate has become home to Nigerians of various religious and ethnic callings,” he said.
He prayed Allah to grant Mr. Bayero’s soul eternal rest and to those he left behind, the fortitude to bear the loss.
In his message, the Senate President, David Mark, described the death as a big blow and a monumental loss to the nation.
Mr. Mark said in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, that the late first class monarch was a great asset who will be missed by all in many respects.
The statement said Mr. Bayero departed at a time when his wise counsel would have been needed to navigate through the nation’s trying times.
“He was a peace maker. He made Kano home for all. He was accommodating. He preached love, unity and good neighbourliness.
“Bayero was a detribalised leader who made the nation his constituency.
“The nation owes him a measure of gratitude for his contributions to the socio- political and economic development of the country,” Mr. Mark said.
He sympathised with the government and people of Kano State and the family over the demise, urging them to take solace in the fact that he lived a life worthy of emulation.
Also, the Deputy President of Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, described the passage of Mr. Bayero as shocking and an irreparable loss.
Mr. Ekweremadu’s reaction is also in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu.
The statement said Mr. Bayero was a “man of many parts who departed in a blaze of glory.
“He not only served Nigeria in many exalted capacities before and after ascending the throne of his fathers, but cultivated friendship and admiration that cut across all ethno-religious boundaries.
“Bayero will be remembered as an epitome of courage, a patriotic, humane, and upright leader and true elder statesman, who gave his very best to his fatherland.”
The senator condoled with the Government and people of Kano state and the nation over the sad incident, and prayed for the peaceful repose of the soul of the departed royal father.
In his reaction, the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, described Mr. Bayero as one of the revered traditional rulers in Nigeria, who preached peace and believed in the unity of the country.
“The death of Alhaji Ado Bayero is regrettable because, even at his age, he was in the vanguard of efforts to curb the activities of insurgents in the North.
“As a royal father, he was committed to the development of his people and Nigeria as he deployed his influence to foster peace and attract development to the emirate and by extension, the State as a whole. We can only hope that his colleagues will follow the good work he started,” Mr. Amosun said in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Olufunmilayo Wakama.
Mr. Amosun, who commiserated with the family of the late Monarch and his Council of Chiefs, urged them to take solace in the fact that the late Emir led an exemplary life and left his prints in the sands of times through his unwavering stance in the propagation of Islam.
In its message, the Anambra Central Traditional Rulers Council recalled how Mr. Bayero protected the Igbos during the 1966 crisis.
The Chairman of the council, Chukwuemeka Ilouno, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Onitsha that news of the sudden transition of the emir was shocking.
“His Eminence, an epitome of humility and humaneness, was not just a most respected traditional ruler but a religious leader per excellence and role model.
“Nigeria has lost a gem, a leader that can never be replaced,” he said.
Mr. Ilouno, who is also the traditional ruler of Ifitedunu community in Dunukofia LGA, said Mr. Bayero saved the lives of many members of the Ndi-Igbo while they were distressed during the 1966 pogrom.
“Ndi-Igbo will never forget in a hurry how this enigma helped to smuggle a lot of our people to safety during the great pogrom of 1966.
“He single handedly encouraged Ndi-Igbo to settle comfortably in the north.
“He was one institution that helped to bond the major ethnic groups in Nigeria together. Oh death! Where is thy sting?’’
The traditional ruler prayed for “his gentle soul” to find everlasting peace in the bosom of the Almighty God.
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