Deceased Managing Editor, Northern Operations of New Telegraph, Suleiman Bisalla, was yesterday buried amid expressions of shock, disbelief and grief, as well as eulogies by his former colleagues.
Bisalla was one of the 21 people officially confirmed killed in the bomb attack on EMAB Plaza in Abuja city centre on Wednesday.
The late editor was buried at about 5.30pm yesterday at the Gudu Cemetery in Abuja after a funeral prayer at about 4.10pm, which was attended by over 500 people, including several journalists, at the National Mosque, Abuja.
The prayer, which was led by an assistant chief imam of the mosque, Shehu Muhammad, also had in attendance former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Nasiru Mantu, former Minister of State for Health, Dr. Aliyu Idi Hong, member representing Wase Federal Constituency, Ahmed Idris, as well as former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives,Farouk Adamu Aliyu.
Among top journalists who joined the funeral prayer were Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) President, Mohammed Garba, Vice President (North) of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Suleiman Uba Gaya, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Daily Trust, Mahmud Jega, as well as a former Editor of Weekly Trust, Garba Deen Muhammad.
In their separate reactions to the demise of Suleiman Bisalla, the Deputy Managing Director of New Telegraph and Editor of the daily title of the paper, Ike Abonyi and Yemi Ajayi respectively, both expressed shock over the incident, but prayed for repose of the soul of the deceased whom they described as “a gentleman”.
Mr. Ajayi, who flew in from Lagos yesterday to attend the funeral rites, said: “I’m short of words”, warning however, that it was high time the present government in Nigeria takes “decisive measures” to contain the rising terrorism in the country.
Similarly, the Abuja Bureau Chief of New Telegraph, Lateef Ibrahim, who expressed deep sadness over the loss of his colleague, however commended the prompt response of security agents to the bomb attack, the fastest in recent times, seven minutes after the incident.
Numerous other journalists, including the Special Adviser to Speaker of the House of Representatives, Imam Imam, relations of the deceased, such as Sani Dawop, a former Chairman of Mangu local government area of Plateau state, from where Bisalla hailed, Mohammed Bisalla and Luqman Bisalla, were also in attendance during the funeral rites.