Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, on Monday quoted the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), as saying that the late publisher, Isa Funtua, who died recently helped in strengthening his regime.
Shehu made this known in a statement titled “President Buhari writes Ismaila Funtua’s family, describes him as a pillar of support to his government” which he made available to journalists.
The presidential spokesman said Buhari made his position known in a letter written in Hausa language which he sent to the deceased’s family.
According to the letter, which he personally signed, the President described Funtua’s death was a great loss to the national.
He said the President told the bereaved wife, Hajiya Hauwa, the children and the entire family members that this loss was not theirs alone, but that of the entire country.
“Malam Isma’ila was of great assistance to me and my administration. He helped in many ways to strengthen the government and the country before his ultimate demise,” Shehu quoted the President as writing in the letter.
He said Buhari also recalled that “in his active politics, Malam Isma’ila served as a minister,” adding that “he was also a businessman and contractor who built several government buildings in Abuja.”
According to the President, “Nigerians of all shades and backgrounds have nothing but kind words for him,” noting that “late Isma’ila was reputed throughout his life for his kindness, generosity and support for public causes, big and the not so big.”
He then urged all those Funtua family left behind not to allow division in their ranks.
The deceased was one of those described as members of the Presidency’s cabal during his lifetime.