By Mumini AbdulKareem
Pioneer General Manager of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) popularly known as Harmony FM, Alhaji Yunus Abubakar had died.
He died in the early hours of Sunday at Crescent Gold Hospital, Tanke, Ilorin, Kwara State after a brief illness.
Popularly called ‘Mogaji’ for being a rallying point for journalists in the state, he was survived by four children, Architect Aisha, Abubakar, Asmau and Awau and a wife, Maryam Titilayo.
His remains was laid to rest at the Muslim Cemetery, Osere area, Ilorin, according to Muslims rites after the Janazah prayer at his Sango residence led by Imam Imale of Ilorin, Alhaji Abdullahi AbdulHameed.
Relatives, friends, colleagues and sympathisers thronged the deceased’s home to condole with the family over the loss, describing him as a humble personality.
The late FRCN boss hailed from Ilorin South Local Government Area of the state and was a one-time Chief Press Secretary to the Kwara state government during the military regime of Air Commodore Inyang.
The state Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed who visited the family in the company of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Isiaka Gold among other government functionaries, described him as a “good man who lived a good life.”
Ahmed said he visited the family not as the governor of the state but as personal friend with over 50 years of close relationship and prayed Allah to give the family fortitude to bear the loss and grant him Jannatul Firdaos.
Responding, wife of the deceased thanked the governor for visiting, adding that family will continue to appreciate all his gestures towards the family.
Earlier, media personalities who visited the family to pay condolence described him as a rare personality, saying that the vacuum created by his death would be very difficult to fill.
According to the Regional Editor of Leadership Newspaper, Alhaji Abdullahi Olesin, “It was a life well spent as he was born, lived and died a Muslim. He was not hardhearted and an epitome of patience and perseverance, who always ensured peaceful co-existence among journalists.”
The General Manager of FRCN, Ilorin, Alhaji Olanrewaju Adegboyega, described the incident as shocking, adding that he would be sorely missed for his wealth of experience.
He noted that the crowd at his burial is evident that the deceased lived a life worthy of emulation, stating that he was popular and loved by people.
Former General Manager of Herald and a friend of the deceased, Alhaji Abdulkareem Adisa, who expressed sadness over the incident, said he took consolation that he lived exemplary life.
Ex- CPS to former governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Mas’ud Adebimpe, said it was shocking and a sad development.
“He went through many challenges but Allah knows best. He stood out because he loved to share in people’s happiness and problems.
Former Vice Chairman of Baruten Local Government, Alhaji Ibrahim AbdulRasheed said, “He was a very wonderful man with listening ear and somebody who cared about people’s welfare. He thanked Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed for visiting the family of the late Abubakar, saying it is a demonstration of his simplicity and humility.
Also in his remarks, the General Manager of Herald, Alhaji Razaq Adebayo described Abubakar’s death as a big loss.
“Since the formation of the G8 group of journalists by the late Baba Saraki to champion the election of his son, Bukola Saraki in 2003, he has been a rallying point. Mogaji as he was called because of his maturity could hardly hurt a fly; he was easy going but God knows best and we pray He grant him Paradise.
Meanwhile, a family source told National Pilot that Abubakar’s final journey began about four weeks ago when he was first admitted at the Trauma centre of the University of Ilorin Teaching hospital (UITH) and was relocated to Crescent as a result of industrial action by health workers then.
“He has been on sick bed for about a month before he passed on. I would say he already knew he would die because at a time, he said he was tired and needed to go and rest and we all understand he’s in pains. Abubakar knew he could not survive and even asked the doctor if there was any solution. That was toughest time for him. At some point he chanted Laila illala (No God but Allah),” the source further divulged.
…former NANS president dies mid-air to India
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has announced the passing of a former National President of the association, Dauda Mohammed, aged 38, after a protracted illness.
NANS’ President, Comrade Chinonso Obasi, who spoke with newsmen in Abuja, said Mohammed died on Sunday enroute India where he had gone for medical treatment.
Obasi said that the mail sent to him by Artemis Group of Hospitals, Delhi, India indicated that Mohammed passed on five minutes before landing at Delhi Airport.
He said that the mail indicated that the hospital would conduct an autopsy on Oct.3 after which his remains would be released for transportation back to Nigeria.
Mohammed departed Abuja for India on Sept. 30 to receive treatment for liver cirrhosis.
The Niger State Government had released N14 million to foot the medical bill after an appeal by NANS.
“We declare on month mourning and national action against cancer as we pray God to console his family.
“We also declare a national action against cancer and appeal the governments at all levels to be more proactive on issues pertaining to the health of citizens.
“Medical facilities in Nigeria should be standardised to enable our medical personnel handle complex forms of sicknesses,’’ Obasi said.
The NANS president said that Mohammed’s family had been informed of his demise.
Born in 1979, Mohammed was NANS’ President from 2011 to 2012; he attended the University of Jos (UNIJOS).