Monday, 3 July 2017

Osinbajo, governors, others mourns Sule Maitama


Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has led tributes to Nigeria’s former UN ambassador Maitama Sule who died yesterday.

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande,Osinbajo extended deep and heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, associates and the government of Kano State, praying that the Almighty God comforts all.

The late Sule, according to the Acting President, is best remembered on the global scene, as one of Nigeria’s foremost envoys whose clarity of voice and vision contributed significantly to the high esteem and respect the country earned at the UN.

At home, Osinbajo also remembered the late Sule as an illustrious son of Nigeria, noting that his death is a loss to the nation.

Osinbajo observed that the late Sule, a great Nigerian leader and a committed nationalist, who positioned himself as an agent of unity.

Even as he advanced gracefully in age, Osinbajo said the late Sule was always prepared to reach out to other leaders of thought across the country in the noble quest for unity, tolerance and national cohesion.

“He did not waver in lending his voice to the promotion of moderation in national discourse, and his graceful conduct thereto would be sorely missed,” he said.

According to him, the late Sule never relented applying his wealth of experience to advance the cause of unity, peace and progress of Nigeria, and his fatherly counsel to those in authority had always been bold, sincere and untainted.

While commending his patriotic fervour, and passionate zeal for public service, the Acting President recalled the late Sule’s unparalleled dedication to duty as a formidable diplomat, politician, minister and acclaimed orator whose well researched and excellently delivered speeches inspired and impressed several Nigerians, including himself.

Osinbajo urged the octogenarian’s family, friends and associates to be consoled by the fact that his selfless commitment to the stability of Nigeria will not be forgotten and would always be honoured.

On behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Government and the entire people of Nigeria, the Acting President conveyed heartfelt condolences on the loss of a great national asset.

He prayed that Allah will bless his memory, grant the family and all Nigerians the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Senate President Bukola Saraki described the late Sule as a detribalised Nigerian who spoke truth to power at all times.

He described the late Sule as an avowed and highly respected personality, core democrat, fearless politician, exceptional orator and an accomplished public servant.

Saraki urged Nigerians to toe the path of dialogue in addressing their grievances and to eschew ethnic tensions as embodied by the late former minister, noting that “this is the highest respect we will pay to his legacies”.

He called on both the Federal and the Kano State governments to immortalise the icon of peace and an advocate of justice and fairness.

“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 said.

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu expressed deep grief, saying: “This is the exit of a patriot, true statesman, role model, social crusader, diplomat of an uncommon pedigree, and an orator, who served the nation and humanity in many capacities.

“Although he was popularly known as Dan Masanin Kano, some of us preferred to call him Dan Masanin Nigeria, for he had a rare national appeal and loomed larger than life itself even in his humility. A man of unimpeachable integrity and agent of national rebirth, Dan Masanin was, true to his title, a man of the people, mouthpiece of the poor, master of words, peacemaker, and diplomat per excellence”.

House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara described the death as a monumental loss to the African continent.

He said the Dan Masani was a colossus, patriot, father to all, and a distinguish. elderstatesman who wrote his name in gold in the annals of Nigeria’s history.

”From struggle for independence to his stewardship as a Federal MP, Federal Commissioner of public complaints, to his service as Nigeria’s permanent Representative to the United Nations, Alhaji Maitama Sule’ s record of public service was excellent, exemplary and worthy of emulation.”

“Even at old age, and faced with health challenges, the late elderstatesman never relented in building bridges of friendship, peace and preaching love amongst Nigerians.”

“Undoubtedly, he was an icon of peace, transparency, a born orator, patriot and a distinguished statesman who gave his all for the unity and prosperity of Nigeria as one indivisible nation.”

Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal said the late Sule impacted the nation positively in various spheres of human endeavour.

The governor said: “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.”

Jigawa State Governor Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar expressed his “heartfelt condolences” and described the deceased as “a prominent community leader who served his people with all ability; an eloquent politician like no one in his time and a prominent traditional title holder that earned respect from all.”

Elder statesman Tanko Yakasai described Sule’s  death as a colossal loss, not only to his family, his friends and political associates, but to the entire Nigerian nation.

’’Even though, we parted ways politically at a certain stage of our political life, fate brought us together when Kano State was created, where we both served as pioneer members of the state executive council to the end of the lifetime of our administration,’’ he said, adding:

‘’We remained as best of friends right from our childhood, never had any personal quarrel. Extremely jovial person, there was never a dull moment with Maitama.”

Minister of Mines and Steel Development Dr Kayode Fayemi said Sule’s death had robbed the country of a true patriot, nationalist and peace maker.

The minister described the late Ambassador as a distinguished leader, political thinker, strategist, foremost diplomat, courageous politician and elder statesman who brought a touch of courage and candour to whatever he did.

Dr Fayemi recalled his relationship with the late Sule, whom he described as a man who possessed a great depth of wisdom and wit and leader with a huge sense of history.

The minister recalled his last meeting with the late politician in Abuja last week, after he took ill. “Before then we were putting finishing touches to his book launch. Little did I know that that would be our last meeting.”

“Ambassador Maitama Sule  was a man of distinction, a compassionate and courageous leader, who was moved more by conviction. He was indeed a good man who stood out among his peers. He was the last of the titans,” Fayemi said.

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