The first civilian governor of old Kaduna state, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, has been laid to rest in Kaduna, on Wednesday, November 11, according to Islamic rights amidst glowing tributes by the state governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Kaduna chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) as well as his political associates.
Musa died on Wednesday morning at the age of 84 years.
He was elected governor of old Kaduna state (before the creation of Katsina state) in 1979 on the platform of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and was impeached in 1981 by the State House of Assembly which was dominated by members of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN).
He was buried according to Islamic rites at about 4pm after prayers at the Sultan Bello Mosque at the Anguwan Sarki Cemetery, Kaduna.
Thousands of sympathisers trooped out to pay him last respect.
In a statement the Kaduna state governor said Musa will be remembered as a progressive politician who tried to expand the horizons of opportunity for ordinary people”.
The statement signed by Muyiwa Adekeye, El-Rufai’s spokesman, said as governor, Musa made notable contributions towards industrialising Kaduna state. “As a leader, he demonstrated at the ballot box, the capacity of a political party devoted to the protection of the interest of ordinary people to acquire power democratically.
“As a private citizen, he projected the qualities of principled politics, decency, integrity, consistency and commitment to improving the lives of our ‘talakawa’ in Kaduna State and Nigeria”, the governor said.
El-Rufai said, “Despite the setback of his unwarranted impeachment from the office as governor, “Musa remained steadfast to his principles and spoke his mind often, helping to project a radical voice in public discourse in defense of democracy, and to advance social justice.”
Also in separate statements the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and the Kaduna chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), said the late Musa devoted his life to the struggle to improve the condition of the masses.
The ACF, in the statement signed by Emmanuel Yawe, its spokesman, said Musa will be remembered as the last man that stood against corruption, exploitation and dictatorship.
On his part, the chairman of the Kaduna state chapter of CAN, Rev. Joseph Hayab, said Musa was a governor for everybody.
“As governor, he came with the idea of industrialising Kaduna state. He established cottage industries across Local Governments in the old Kaduna state.
“He was always a voice for the masses throughout his lifetime. He was consistent in his principles, courageous and always spoke the truth.
He was one leader that loves everybody, he was detribalised, fair and just to all. We will miss him because he was a good leader”, Hayab said.
Also in their tributes, closed associates of the late Musa, Senator Shehu, Mr. Tom Maiyashi and Mr. Richard Umaru, described him as a man of the people who lived his life, fighting for the masses.
Sani said Musa was a mentor to him and millions of Nigerians.
“He represents an emblem of conviction, principle of patriotism and nationalism.
“We have lost a mentor, a leader, one who has inspired a generation of people in Kaduna state and the whole of northern Nigeria. He was a leader like no other… there can never be a Balarabe Musa again. His death shocked all of us and a great loss to Nigeria” Sani said.
On his part, Tom Maiyashi who served as Commissioner for Information, Home Affairs and Culture under Musa’s administration, described him a principled man who believed in the emancipation of the ordinary people.
“He was a man of principle, a man who believed in the
emancipation of the poor. he made sacrifices for the emancipation of the down trodden, he believes in a united Nigeria, he believes in human dignity and happiness and he could go to any length to ensure that happens. He was a strong moral voice for examplary leadership that could bring unity and development for Nigeria.
“He was a great achiever as a governor. He embarked on massive educational reforms that has never been attained since he left office till today,” Maiyashi said.
On his part Richard Umaru, a former editor of the Jos based Nigeria Standard newspapers, said Nigeria had loss a colossus in the struggle for the emancipation of the masses.
Umaru who also served as Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Internal Affairs and Information under Musa’s administration, said his relationship with him span about 40 years.
“I have been privileged to work under him. I served under him as the permanent Secretary in the ministry of Internal Affairs and information up to the time he was impeached. I have been close to him for 40 years.
“Nigeria has lost a colossus in the struggle for the emancipation of the Nigerian masses. We can only wish him peaceful repose”.