Governor Aminu Tambuwal has expressed sadness over the death of respected elder and former governor of old Kaduna State, Lawal Kaita.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Imam Imam, the governor said Mr. Kaita made invaluable contributions to the development of the country.
“He was an acclaimed pacesetter who, along with other patriotic Nigerians of his generation, fought for the restoration of democracy in Nigeria at the turn of the century. His life is an example in dedication and commitment to democratic norms and values.
“Nigeria will remember the deceased as a man who gave his best years towards the development of multi-party politics. His contributions have enriched governance process at state and federal levels,” he added.
While praying to Allah to grant the deceased eternal rest and his family the fortitude to bear the loss, Mr. Tambuwal appealed to both the Kaduna and Katsina state governments to immortalise the deceased for the benefit of future generation.
Similarly, a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, described the late Mr. Kaita, as a fearless democrat whose immense contribution to Nigeria’s democratic struggles would be etched in brass.
Reacting to the demise of Kaita at 85, the former vice president said Mr. Kaita, who was his political associate, was a man of remarkable virtues who inspired whoever interacted with him.
According to Mr. Abubakar, few Nigerian politicians have the courage to disagree with the people in power in order to sustain political patronage for survival.
He explained that the late Mr. Kaita was never afraid to speak his mind in pursuit of his principles, including his insistence that political parties must respect internal democracy in order to be credible.
He noted that the late Mr. Kaita had left an unblemished public service record because politicians of his generation were motivated by the passion for service.
He recalled that his close association with Mr. Kaita was a beneficial experience because he was a man of vast knowledge of politics and intricacies.
President Muhammad Buhari had earlier expressed his condolence in a similar message.
In his reaction, the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai described Mr. Kaita as “a quintessential leader and patriot”.
Mr. El-Rufai in a condolence message issued by his spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, said the deceased had exhibited courage in leadership and patriotism in all his political engagements during his life time.
“Alhaji Lawal Kaita was a quintessential and courageous leader who served the old Kaduna State with dedication and commitment in the course of his leadership in 1983.
“As an elected governor of the old Kaduna State, he contributed immensely to the development, unity and progress of the old Kaduna state.
“Alhaji Kaita was a patriot and a role model for present and future leaders.’’
Also, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) said it received the news of the death of Mr. Kaita, one of its foundation members, with shock; adding that the deceased was a bridge-builder.
“Nigeria has lost one of its illustrious elder statesmen, a bridge builder and democrat.
“Late Kaita will be remembered for his humility, commitment to national unity and peaceful coexistence among all Nigerians.
“May Allah grant his soul eternal peace in Aljanna Firdaus,’’ the ACF said in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim.