Abuja: Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has described late elder statesman, Yusuf Maitama Sule, Dan Masanin Kano, as not only an orator, but also a bridge builder who preached for the unity and corporate existence of the country.
Jonathan made the assertion at the Government House, Kano, when he paid a condolence to Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, over the death of Dan Masanin Kano.
“Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule was a great son of Kano, beyond Kano and beyond Nigeria,” the former President stated, adding that he learnt a lot from the late statesman.
Eulogising Maitama’s role in the nation’s development, Jonathan said the former permanent Nigeria representative at the United Nations propelled the wheel of political and economic prosperity of Nigeria, adding that during his lifetime Maitama distinguished himself as a nationalist, who until his demise remained firm on the sustainability of the country’s unity despite her diversity.
“ We have lost a great man beyond Kano, because Maitama Sule is a national figure and great Son of Nigeria. He played key role in the economic and political development of Nigeria, before and after independence. We have several leaders in this country, but Maitama Sule is exceptional.
“He was not a regional or self-centered leader, because from his words and actions he remained a national builder, who believed strongly in the continuation in our corporate existence. When I was president I had the privilege of meeting him on several occasions and we drew from his wealth of advice,” he stated.
Still extolling his virtues, the former President added: “This is one person that everybody talks about, because he always preached for the corporate existence of the country. We lost a father and a leader, who is so dear to all of us. “
Commending Governor Ganduje for renaming Northwest University, Kano to Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Jonathan also praised the governor for the developmental projects spread across the state in his two years in office.
Earlier, Ganduje said he was so close to the former President since when they were deputies to their respective state governors, stressing: “We worked closely together as deputies then. So, I am not surprised to see him coming for this condolence, even though he sent a letter of condolence earlier.”
Son of the late statesman, Mukhtar Maitama Sule, expressed the family’s profound gratitude to the former President for finding time to come to Kano, purposely to pay his condolences to them, the state government, the Emir and the entire people of Kano State.
At the Emir’s palace, Jonathan expressed his heartfelt condolence to the Emir, Muhammadu Sanusi II, declaring that the loss was not only for Kano, but also for the entire Nigeria, even as he prayed the Almighty to forgive his errors as a human being while on earth.
Emir Sanusi expressed his profound gratitude to the former President for the visit and wished him a safe return home.On the former President’s entourage were the former governors of Kano and Jigawa States, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau and Sule Lamido, former Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali and Dr. Nuruddeen Muhammad, former Ministers or Justice and Federal Capital Territory, Kabiru Turaki (SAN) and Bala Mohammed, among others.