John Yima Sen, an activist and Director-General of the Northern Elders’ Forum, has passed away.
A brief statement issued by The Coalition of Northern Groups, where the deceased was a patron, said Mr Sen died on Tuesday evening at the age of 69.
He died at the Garki Hospital in Abuja, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
“The coalition wishes to extend its condolence to His family, The Northern Elders Forum, Baze University, the people of Benue and the country at large. His death has certainly created a huge vacuum in the hierarchy of northern mentorship and patriotism. As he sleeps on, we pray the family gets the fortitude to bear the pains of the loss,” the statement read.
Also, former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Wednesday, said he was deeply saddened by the demise of Mr Sen.
“He was a fine intellectual who also dedicated his life to the pursuit of the development of the entire North Central Zone, moulding the minds of the next generation and the development of Nigeria as a nation. He will be sorely missed,” he recounted in a statement issued via his verified Twitter account.
The deceased, from Benue state, was a senior academic at Baze University, Abuja, where he taught Mass Communications until his death.
Mr Sen studied Mass Communications at the University of Lagos, University of California in Los Angeles, United States of America and the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Over the years, the deceased served in different capacities including being the spokesperson to public officers and leading pressure groups.
In the second republic, he served as a Communications Assistant to Chuba Okadigbo, the Special Adviser on Political Affairs to the late President Shehu Shagari.
He was later appointed the Special Adviser on Political Affairs to the late Mr Shagari.
The deceased was a former Secretary General of Nigeria’s foremost pro-democracy movement, Campaign for Democracy (CD) and a notable figure in the agitation for minority rights.
Mr Sen had on several occasions condemned the leadership of the country, noting that the problem of Nigeria cannot be solved by true federalism or restructuring, but through commitment to development of infrastructure.