President Muhammadu Buhari; the Governor Nasir El-Rufai-led Kaduna State Government; former Senate President Bukola Saraki; and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have mourned the passing of the first elected governor of Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, who served the state from October 1979 to June 1981.
While joining the government and people of Kaduna State in mourning Musa, Buhari said the former governor’s passing would be “sorely missed by all Nigerians, who have diligently followed his antecedents as a voice for the voiceless.”
The President believed Musa “reflected the passion and vigour that heralded Nigeria’s independence, which steadily translated into activism for return to democracy at the height of military interregnum and has remained steadfast in the call for good and inclusive governance.”
As the former governor goes home, Buhari affirmed that he left “a bold footprint on Nigeria’s democracy, and his role in promoting good governance and development will always be remembered and appreciated by posterity.”
The President, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest, and comfort his family, friends and associates.
Announcing the death of Musa, El-Rufai said Kaduna State is proud of the public service the former governor rendered to the state and its people.
“Alhaji Balarabe Musa will be remembered as a progressive politician who tried in his time as governor to expand the horizons of opportunity for ordinary people.
“He made notable contributions to industrialising the 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.
“Despite the setback of his unwarranted impeachment from the office of Governor, Alhaji Balarabe 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.
“As we pay tribute to his life of unblemished public service, we pray Allah to forgive his shortcomings, grant him al-Jannar Firdaus and to comfort his family,” said El-Rufai, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye.
In his condolence message, Senate President Bukola Saraki, described the passing of Musa “a renowned statesman who fought for our return to democracy and a former Governor of Kaduna State” as “a great loss to the nation.”
He therefore sent his heartfelt condolences to his family and the people of Kaduna State, saying Musa would be “dearly missed.”
On its part, PDP said it’s “deeply grieved by the death of elder statesman, outstanding democrat and former governor of old Kaduna state, Alhaji Balarabe Musa.”
The party described Musa’s death “as a huge national loss given his steadfastness, patriotic contributions and zeal in fighting for the unity, stability and development of our nation.”
“Alhaji Musa was a forthright leader, an embodiment of ideals, who spent better part of his life championing the entrenchment of justice, equity, fairness and rule of law in every sector of our national life, despite the challenges he faced.
“Our party commiserates with the Balarabe Musa family, the government and people of Kaduna State, as well as his friends and associates even as we pray that the Almighty God grants eternal repose to his soul and fortitude to the family and the nation at large, to bear this irreparable loss,” PDP said, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan.