Prominent Nigerians, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, have expressed shock at the news of the demise of Borno State Deputy Governor, Zannah Umar Mustapha, who passed away in his sleep Saturday morning and was buried by sundown according to Islamic rites.
A statement signed by the Secretary to Borno State Government, Alhaji Usman Jidda Shuwa, confirmed that the deputy governor died in his sleep in Yola, Adamawa State, where he had gone to represent his principal, Kashim Shettima, at the convocation ceremony of Modibbo Adama University of Science and Technology, Yola.
Buhari, in a statement issued yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, extended heartfelt condolences to the late deputy governor’s immediate family and his relatives.
The president similarly commiserated with Shettima and the entire people of Borno State on the loss and joined the governor, “members of Zannah’s family, his friends, political associates, colleagues in the Borno State Government, constituents and supporters in praying that Almighty Allah will receive his soul and grant him eternal rest.”
Also, the Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki said he received the news of Zannah’s death with shock, adding that it was difficult to believe the information that a man he met in Borno about a week ago during his tour of some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Maiduguri could have left this world so soon.
He expressed regret that the late deputy governor would no longer be able to witness the imminent end of “the mindless bloodletting and destruction of property being visited on a peaceful and hospitable people in the North-east zone of the country.”
More condolences poured in yesterday from the governors of Borno, Yobe, Lagos and Ondo states, among others. In his message, Governor Shettima expressed his heartfelt condolence to his late deputy’s family as well as to the entire people of the state for the irreparable loss, appealing for prayers for the repose of the soul of the departed.
The Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, said his thoughts and prayers were with the people of the state while the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, expressed deep pain over Mustapha’s passage, describing it as a tragic loss.
To the Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, Mustapha’s death was a rude shock and unfortunate as well as a huge loss to Borno State and the nation in general.
Similarly, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Yussuff Sulaimon Lasun, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Wole Oladimeji, described the late deputy governor as a perfect gentleman and lamented that his demise would create a vacuum in the state and among his people.