The remains of former governor of the defunct Kaduna State, Alhaji Lawal Kaita, has been buried in Katsina. Kaita died on Tuesday in an Abuja hospital, after a protracted illness at the age 85.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the funeral prayer of the deceased was led by Imam Mustapha Liman, at the palace of the Emir of Katsina at 2.30 p.m. Prominent personalities that attended the rite included a federal government delegation comprising the Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd); Minister of State for Aviation, Alhaji Hadi Sirika, and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Alhaji Garba Shehu.
Others were the deputy governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Mannir Yakubu; Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Farouq, and the Lamido of Adamawa, Alhaji Barkindo Aliyu Mustapha. Kaita was buried at the old Danmarna cemetery in Katsina metropolis.
Meanwhile, tributes yesterday poured in from different parts of the country for the late Octogenarian. Some of those, who paid tributes included, Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representative, Hon. Yakubu Dogara; a former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu and the governor of Sokoto State, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal. Saraki described the death of Kaita as a great loss not only to Katsina and Kaduna states but to the entire nation.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki described the late Kaita as a courageous, experienced and consummate politician, who was always frank in his views and honest in his political activities.
“I consider the death of Alhaji Kaita as a personal loss to me and my family considering his long mutual and beneficial relationship with my late father, Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki, which he graciously extended to me.”
Dogara expressed sadness over the demise. In a statement, issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, the Speaker described the late elder statesman as a man of outstanding character and a committed Democrat, who devoted his life to working for the development of democracy in Nigeria. “Alhaji Lawal Kaita was a very courageous man, who left a legacy of service and built bridges of friendship and unity across the north and the country in general”.
Kalu lamented the demise of former governor. While extolling the virtues of the deceased, Kalu acknowledged the roles played by the late Kaita in the political development of Nigeria.
He stressed that the demise of the consummate politician has created a big vacuum in the Nigerian political space. In a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Kunle Oyewumi, Kalu noted that the late elder statesman’s wise counsel on national issues would be greatly missed.
He said: “Nigeria has lost yet another consummate politician and patriotic statesman, Alhaji Lawal Kaita.
“The deceased was forthright, bold and selfless in his pursuits. “He left behind worthy legacies for other politicians to emulate. “May Allah forgive his shortcomings and grant him Al- Jannah Firdaus.
Tambuwal expressed sadness over the death of Kaita. In a statement issued by his spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, the governor said Kaita made invaluable contributions to the development of the country. “He was an acclaimed pacesetter who, along with other patriotic Nigerians of his generation, fought for the restoration of democracy in Nigeria at the turn of the century.
His life is an example in dedication and commitment to democratic norms and values. “Nigeria will remember the deceased as a man who gave his best years towards the development of multiparty politics.
His contributions have enriched governance process at state and federal levels,” he added. Also a former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, said that Kaita, was a man of remarkable virtues who inspired whoever interacted with him.
Atiku noted that very few Nigerian politicians have the courage to disagree with the people in power in order to sustain political patronage for survival. According to him, the late Kaita was never afraid to speak his mind in pursuit of his principles, including his insistence that political parties must respect internal democracy in order to be credible.