*Died at 88 in Cairo hospital on Monday
By Sandra Onyekwere
President of the Nigerian Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has joined millions of the nation’s citizens to mourn the death of former Nigeria Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), Alhaji Maitama Sule as a great loss to Nigeria. He died at 88 in a Cairo hospital.
Saraki made the remark while commiserating with the immediate family of the deceased, the Emir of Kano and people of the state over the death of the former diplomat.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki said Nigeria had lost a great nationalist in Sule.
Describing the late Sule as a detribalised Nigerian who spoke truth to those in power at all times, during his lifetime, the Senate President said the deceased was an “avowed and highly respected personality, core democrat, fearless politician, exceptional orator and an accomplished public servant.”
He called on both the Federal and the Kano State Governments to immortalise the great icon of peace and an advocate of justice and fairness.
According to Saraki, the deceased would be sorely missed for his knowledge, political sagacity, philanthropy, oratory and courage.
Saraki said: “The news of the demise of Alhaji Maitama Sule, came to me with shock. This is one man that has become a permanent feature in the politics of the country, beginning from first republic when he was appointed a minister at his youthful age.
“Through sheer oratory, the name Maitama Sule had become synonymous with wit and wisdom. He never minced words when speaking against ills in society and how to curb them.
“He would remain an inspiration to both present and forthcoming generations on the lessons of tolerance, unity, and peaceful coexistence.
“He left at a time his wise counsel is in dire need to navigate our way out of current challenges confronting the country. I pray the Almighty Allah to grant his soul aljannah firdaus and his family the fortitude to bear the loss.”
In a similar development, the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal described the death of the former Minister of Petroleum as a great loss to the nation.
Eulogising the deceased, the governor said Sule impacted the nation positively in various spheres of human endeavor while alive.
Tambuwal, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, said the former diplomat was a complete gentleman and good citizen who dedicated his life to the unity, progress and development of Nigeria.
He said, “The people and government of Sokoto State received with shock, the news of the passage of Dan Masanin Kano, Alhaji Maitama Sule.
“Our country has lost a rare breed. A leading light from the old generation has been extinguished. He was a complete gentleman whose honesty, commitment and dedication to the unity of Nigeria will forever be cherished.
“Dan Masani’s name will continue to be identified with everything positive about Nigeria and its people. Whenever the future generation reads about Dan Masani, they will encounter a man who was cherished and respected by the high and mighty from all parts of the country.”
Also, the immediate past Senate President, Senator David Mark described Sule’s death as the exit of a titan.
Mark expressed sadness over the demise of the foremost nationalist and patriot, saying the deceased was a leading light whose towering influence, achievements, intellect and oratory prowess in the evolution of contemporary Nigeria remain extraordinarily impressive.
He said, “the position of Sule as it concerned the welfare and wellbeing of Nigerians was clear and unambiguous. He stood firm for the peace and unity of Nigeria. He was a noble man.
“In Maitama Sule, we have lost an unrepentant patriot, nationalist per excellence, a lover of dignity of labour and a soldier who fought in the defence of the ordinary man”.
Mark said Sule will occupy a prominent chapter in the history of the Nation as one of the forefront nationalists who laid the foundation for modern day Nigeria.
He stated that the “trajectory of Sule albeit his humble beginning and steady rise to the top will remain a worthy study for students and leaders especially in the black race.”
The former Senate President therefore urged the Federal Government and the Government of Kano State to immortalise Sule for his “immeasurable contributions to the Socio-economic and political development of Nigeria.”