•••Describes Kingmaker’s Death As A National Loss
Minister, Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, on Sunday, paid a condolence visit to the Sultan of Sokoto, His Royal Majesty, Muhamadu Sa’ad Abubakar, over the death of one of the kingmakers of the Caliphate, Alhaji Hassan Danbaba Marafa, (Magaji Garin Sokoto) describing his death as a national Loss.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Jackson Udom, quoted the Minister saying ” the death of my brother and friend, Hazzan Danbaba, is not only a loss to the Caliphate, and Sokoto State, it a loss to the whole nation. It is also not the Caliphate that is mourning his demise, the entire country is equally mourning the loss of this great son of Nigeria.”
The former Senate Minority Leader disclosed that he saw him link between the past and the present. ” I used to call him a chip off the old block of Sardauna Dynasty. When his mother passed on, he called me immediately, and I went to see him. He wept profusely over the mother’s death. He was a man who loved his mother passionately.”
Speaking about his relationship with the deceased, the former governor of Akwa Ibom State said,” I was so close to him, not as a politician but as a brother. He was a bridge builder, who built bridges across the six geo political zones of the country. Many years ago, when I celebrated my 50th birthday, he came. He didn’t just come, he said get me an aircraft and let me bring your royal fathers to come and bless you. We had about 12 Emirs and the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade in attendance at that event.”
“He was instrumental to my presence at the 45th Coronation Anniversary of the late Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero. He personally came to pick me from Akwa Ibom State, and I was made the Special Guest of honour.
” I stand to be corrected. I do know that there is no Coronation Ceremony in the North, that you will not see him, not as a guest, but moving from one point to the other to ensure that things were going on fine. He was a workaholic, robust and jovial. Always smiling and making you laugh any time he came in contact with you”, he noted.
Senator Akpabio also prayed to God to grant the Sultan, the Caliphate, the state and the family he left behind the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss.