- He was voice for the voiceless, says Buhari
From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna and Egena Sunday Ode
Thousands of masses thronged the Sultan Bello Mosque and Ungwan Sarki Cemetery creating heavy traffic gridlock along Isa Kaita road, as former Governor of the old Kaduna state, Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa was laid to rest yesterday.
The Chairman of Board of Trustees of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) died in the early hours of Wednesday after a brief illness.
Alhaji Balarabe Musa, who was born on August 21st 1936, died at the age of 84. His death was confirmed same Wednesday morning by a member of the PRP, Senator Shehu Sani.
The janaiza (last prayer) held at the Sultan Bello Mosque led by Sheikh Ahmed Gumi immediately after the Asri (early evening prayer).
The Sultan Bello Mosque open ground was filled with people from within and outside the Kaduna metropolis who came to pay their last respect to the somebody who has been described as the defender and voice of the masses.
The prayer was however not left for the masses alone as former Governor of Kaduna state, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramallan Yero, Secretary to the Kaduna State Government (SSG), Alhaji Balarabe Lawal and former executive secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund, Alhaji Hussaini Jallo alongside serving commissioners and other top government functionaries attended the last prayer.
The body was then moved to the Ungwar Sarki cemetery, in a Kaduna state government ambulance with number KDGH 13, where the former Governor of old Kaduna state was laid to rest.
The trip from Sultan Bello Mosque to the Ungwar Sarki cemetery a distance of less than five km took over 20 minutes, as residents in large numbers trooped to bid Balarabe Musa final respect, amidst a horde of vehicles which meandered their way to the venue of the final interment.
Balarabe Musa, a left-wing Nigerian politician, was elected Governor of the then Kaduna state (comprising Kaduna and Katsina states) during the Nigerian second republic on the platform of
PRP with a socialist ideology that believes in welfare of the common man, the poor.
He held office from October 1979 until he was impeached by the then National Party of Nigeria (NPN) dominated Kaduna State House of Assembly on 23 June 1981.
In a condolence, President Muhammadu Buhari joined the government and people of Kaduna State in mourning the late Alhaji Balarabe Musa.
Buhari in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shebu said Balarabe’s passing away will be sorely missed by all Nigerians, who have diligently followed his antecedents as a voice for the voiceless.
The statement further read: “President Buhari believes Alhaji Musa reflected the passion and vigour that heralded Nigeria’s independence, which steadily translated into activism for return to democracy at the height of military interregnum and has remained steadfast in the call for good and inclusive governance.
“As the former governor goes home, the President affirms that he left a bold footprint on Nigeria’s democracy, and his role in promoting good governance and development will always be remembered and appreciated by posterity.
“President Buhari prays that the almighty God will grant his soul eternal rest, and comfort his family, friends and associates.”