The remains of Bashir Tofa, the presidential candidate of the National Republican Convention (NRC) in the June 12, 1993 election, have been laid to rest in a public cemetery in Kano.
Earlier, his uncle, Bello Dan-Sumaila, told PREMIUM TIMES that the politician passed away at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital in Kano at about 4:30 a.m on Monday at the age of 74 years.
Mr Dan-Sumaila said Mr Tofa was recuperating from a week-long illness when he was pronounced dead by a medical doctor Monday morning.
The remains were lowered to earth at Hajj Camp, a public cemetery in the Kano metropolis.
The sombre ceremony was completed at his Gandun Albasa residence after the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado-Bayero, observed his funeral prayers.
A former governor of Kano, Ibrahim Shekarau, a former Minister of Agriculture, Sabo Nanono, and a former Secretary to Kano State Government, Sule Yahaya-Hamma, were some of the political dignitaries at the ceremony.
In his condolence greetings, the governor of Jigawa state, Muhammad Badaru, through his media aide, Habibu Kila, said he was saddened by the news of the death of Mr Tofa whom he described as a statesman, industrialist, politician and community leader.
Mr Badaru said the politician lived and died in the service of humanity, Mr Badaru said.
In his own message, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano said Mr Tofa’s contributions to Nigeria’s democracy are indelible..
In a statement signed by the state commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba, the governor noted that Mr Tofa started taking up leadership responsibilities at an early age when he was elected councilor in Tofa in his late 20s, and remained vibrant and dynamic up till the time of his death.
He said as a businessman, trader and philanthropist, Mr Tofa touched many lives, especially the down-trodden.
“The legacy of his political beliefs and triumphs will be important footnotes in the literature of Nigeria’s government and politics for generations yet to come.
“He was a great man, a quintessential democrat and outstanding statesman who has left very hold prints both on the politics and political history of Nigeria, “the statement added.
Northern speakers mourn
The Northern Speakers Forum also described the death of Mr Tofa as the loss of a perfect gentleman.
The Speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, Yusuf Zailani, who is the chairperson of the forum said this in a statement signed by his media aide, Ibrahim Danfulani. He discribed the deceased as peaceful, patriotic and a lover of his country.
“All through his life time, he was never named among controversial politicians that flame embers of disunity, confusion and disintegration,” it said.
The forum said Mr Tofa never played do-or-die politics, but was an embodiment of democracy at its finest.
“He will be deeply missed by all for his silent role in stabilising the polity,” the statement added.
Arewa Youth Consultative Council mourns
The chairperson,the Arewa Youth Consultative Council, (AYCC) Zaidu Ayuba, in a statement described Mr Tofa as the most reliable, promising and listening pillar of the Arewa Youth Consultative Council.
Mr Ayuba said the deceased who was the patron to the AYCC was its greatest pillar that always tried to “shields us from misbehaving as youths with exuberance, he always taught us tacts and approaches in politics.
“Today, we lost our greatest pillar. This is a non recuperating lost. We pray for Allah mercy and Rahman to his soul.
“May Aljannah be his home, May we find the fortitude to bear the loss with strong Iman. Farewell to our leader,” AYCC said in a statement.
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