By Victor Ahiuma-Young, Henry Umoru, Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Omeiza Ajayi, Chris Ochayi, Peter Duru, By Abdulmumin Murtala, James Ogunnaike & Ibrahim HassanWuyo
Elder statesman and Second Republic Governor of old Kaduna State, Abdulkadir Bàlàrabe Musa, is dead.
Musa, who died at age 84, was the National Leader of Peoples Redemption Party, PRP, and a highly-respected politician.
One of his sons, Kallamu Balarabe-Musa, confirmed the death of the pro-people former governor at his residence in Kaduna.
He has since been buried in line with Islamic rites after funeral prayer at the Sultan Bello Mosque, Kaduna.
Musa was born on August 21, 1936 in Kaya, Kaduna State.
He studied at Zaria Middle School from 1947 to 1952 and at the Institute of Administration, Zaria, 1952 to 1953.
Musa, who was an accounts clerk and a school teacher, held various managerial positions related to accountancy from 1960 to 1976, while studying at different colleges in London to gain additional qualifications.
He was elected governor of the old Kaduna State in 1979 on the platform of the PRP, a party founded by late Mallam Aminu Kano.
Reacting to his death, President Muhammadu Buhari, expressed sadness, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said: “President Buhari believes Alhaji 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, the President affirms 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 prayed that the almighty God will grant his soul eternal rest, and comfort his family, friends and associates.
Also, former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in a condolence message to the government and people of Kaduna State, described Musa as a sincere politician who protected the interest of the people.
The former President said: “Alhaji Balarabe Musa was a sincere and committed patriot and statesman who held fast to people-oriented progressive ideals throughout his political life.
“As a democrat, Musa avoided convenient politics and was passionate and courageous about his views. He was a highly principled man who relentlessly pursued his beliefs, even at the risk of suffering personal and career setbacks.”
He was a patriot — Obasanjo
Similarly, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, described late Musa as a patriot, whose death he received with deep shock.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo said the late former governor, had unwavering belief in a greater Nigeria.
“And, he accordingly gave the best of his remarkable talent and ability in pursuit of this goal,” Obasanjo said.
“He brought renewed activism, verve and resourcefulness to bear on the nation’s polity,” Obasanjo disclosed.
A principled politician — Senate President
In the same vein, President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan described him as a principled political leader who throughout his life consistently championed the cause of the masses.
In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media, Ola Awoniyi, the President of the Senate said the former governor shunned material benefits and remained constant on the path of his convictions all through his long and illustrious political career.
Kaduna proud of Musa, says El-Rufai
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State said his government was proud of the public service the second republic governor rendered to the state and its people.Expressing sadness over his demise,
A statement made his available by Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, el-Rufai noted that “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.”
According to the governor, the deceased “made notable contributions to industrializing 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 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.”
Musa’s death, a huge loss— Ortom
On his part, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, described his death as a huge loss to the country.
Governor Ortom in a statement, by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, also described the deceased as a true patriot who made his views known on national issues in an unbiased manner and contributed in several other ways to nation building.
Great loss for downtrodden — Ganduje
Similarly, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, described the death of Balarabe Musa, as a great loss to Nigeria, democracy and the downtrodden.
Ganduje in a condolence message, said “We received with shock and sadness, the news of the death of Malam Balarabe Musa, who passed away when Nigeria needed him the most.”
Nigeria’s democracy, according to the governor “Was moulded by the likes of the former governor. Not only Nigerian democracy, Africa’s transition to democracy in the last decades, benefited immensely from Balarabe Musa’s in-depth concern for the downtrodden ones.”
For The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Yawe, said: “Balarabe Musa was an active member of the Northern Elements Progressively Union.
“In the second republic he again teamed up with his old comrades in NEPU and their leader, Malam Aminu Kano to form PRP, on whose ticket he was elected Kaduna State governor.
Principled progressive politician — Tinubu
Reacting, All Progressives Congress, APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, described him as principled and committed progressive politician.
In a condolence message by his Media Office and signed by Mr. Tunde Rahman, Tinubu said: “The passing on Wednesday of Alhaji Balarabe Musa, is saddening. His demise is a blow to the progressives and all others committed to the socio-political development of the country.
“Alhaji Musa was a statesman and a principled and committed progressive politician. He was very uncompromising. He stood unwaveringly by his convictions. Even at the height of his impeachment by the NPN-controlled Kaduna State House of Assembly in 1981,he remained steadfast and refused to be cowed to betray his principles.
A selfless leader-Textile workers
Also reacting, National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, NUTGTWN, expressed sadness over his death
In a statement by its President, John Adaji and Acting Secretary, Ali Baba, the union said among others, said “ Alhaji Balarabe Musa stood for democracy and good governance. He also stood for a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria. He was a selfless leader with principle and remarkable integrity.
“The Nigeria labour movement in particular will forever remember him as the first governor under PRP together with the late Alhaji Abubakar Rimi of Kano State to implement the minimum wage in their states and to declare May-Day.”
Exemplifies good principles in governance — Aremu
Also reacting, Vice President of IndustriALL Global Union, Issa Aremu, in a condolence message, said among others ”He was also my political mentor as a budding progressive politician. Alhaji Balarabe in 2019 in Kaduna was the first to endorse my Labour Party (LP) candidature for Kwara State governorship (in his words “99 per cent, but would have been 100 % if you are contesting under PRP platform”
“I bear posthumous witness that Nigeria, Africa and progressive world had lost an audacious principled selfless statesman.”