Breath his last inside car at home
Travel to Abuja with his ‘harami’ cloth
His last moments, fears, unfulfilled dreams
Plus myths about him
By Mumini AbdulKareem and Mike Adeyemi
For the Emir of Patigi, Alhaji Ibrahim Chatta, his trip to Abuja on Monday was filled with mixed feelings of hope and expectation.
Although he was meant to travel to the United Kingdom for a three months medical trip since last week, delay in visa application by the British embassy in Abuja forced him and his team, including his son and doctor, Abdullahi to remain in the country until yesterday when clearance came for him.
However, the trip was not meant to be and neither was his intended Saudi trip he had planned after completing his medical treatment before coming to Nigeria for which he had taken his ‘harami’ cloth with him.
According to Abdullahi, who spoke with this reporter in the palace late Wednesday night, the late monarch complained of weakness in his body after which he was called to examine him.
’’Around 10:00pm, he complained of general body weakness and we decided to take him to the hospital.
’’Some of the family members with him including one of his wives volunteered to support him so that he could get to the car but he refused and insisted that he can walk.
“He walked a distance of less than 10 feet before he entered the car and sat at the back. He died sitting at the rear before we even left home.
“This is contrary to what some people are saying the he died at the National Hospital in Gwagwalada where he was rushed to ’’, he added.
He however said professional ethics would not allow him to disclose the nature of the monarch’s illness but a source said he died of cardiac arrest that may not be unconnected with development in polity. He however declined to explain whether it was connected with politics or not.
The late Etsu was born on September 1st, 1958 and survived by five wives and 30 children. For another of his son, Idris, he said the monarch took water last adding that their father had six wives altogether but one is now late.
He was buried around 5pm in his palace and his janazah was led by the Chief Imam of Patigi, Alhaji Musa Abdullahi.
Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State and the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari led other top dignitaries in the state to the event.
The late Chatta succeeded his only sibling from the same mother, late Idris Gana and had once worked as a staff of NNPC before he was called to the throne.
His last official outing was the Jumaat prayer he attended at the Patigi central mosque in front of his palace. After the prayer, he was said to have taken time to address the youth and counseled them to always be patient no matter the situation or their grievances.
Night fall at the palace
The multitude of people who thronged the palace of the Etsu Patigi from when the news of his death was broken close to midnight yesterday had drastically reduced. The few ones left including two of his sons filled the mini mosque inside the palace for the Magrib prayer where the Imam counseled them in Nupe to accept the monarch’s death as the will of Almighty Allah. Some of them who were earlier approached for comment about their late father all declined saying they are too shock to talk. Most of them with heavy swollen eyes from the tears they have shed.
At a segment of his expansive palace, eleven huge horses where being fed properly their last meal of the day. If they were not aware of the eclipse of the late monarch, their calmness was perhaps instructive.
Late Ibrahim Chatta was troubled and his family and he voiced out his concern to those with him in Abuja before his death.
According to one of his female children, Aminat who is a staff of NTA Ilorin, their late father was afraid that who would take care of his family the way he stood for them when he is gone.
“Some of his children are still very young. Our father was a very free person who trusted people a lot but some of his trusted friends he told us later stabbed him in the back. That really gave him much concern. Also he was a community man to the core and the restiveness of some of the youth worried him a lot especially the implication for the community with someone who has worked for and championed the course of communal peace all his life.
Late Chatta was a lover of education and ensured that all his children are educated but his demise has cut short his robust education plans for his family. Furthermore, he had been on the forefront to see that the NTA station located in his domain commenced transmission to showcase his community to the outside world but that was not to be. There were several other buildings within and around the palace that he would have loved to see completed.
The late monarch had also earnestly look forward to the realisation of the agitation of power shift to Kwara North and probably someone from his community benefitting from the pact signed by the PDP with the district. The current House of Representatives member for Patigi/Edu/Moro and Chairman House Committee on Water Resources, Hon Ahman Patigi is from Patigi and was expected to be a leading candidate for the seat come 2023. That was however not fulfilled.
Also, following the appointment of former Deputy Speaker of the 8th Kwara Assembly, Prof Yisa Gana as Ambassador to Japan, the late Ibrahim Chatta was full of joy because according to him, it will give him the long nursed opportunity to visit Japan his dream country. This was also not actualised because of his death.
Myths about him
According to some narratives in the community, the late monarch is endowed with deep religious knowledge and also deep about the Nupe tribe mysticism. For this reason, many have also talked about him as a powerful man who used to transform himself to other creatures and believe strongly about the oneness of Allah and the need to use whatever God-given knowledge or talent to assist those in need. The wind that blew over the palace later in the evening after his burial was also a talking point for some people about his personality.
What we’ll miss most about him – Children
According to the children, their late father used to advise them a lot on the need to hold on to Allah and depend on Him only. They said he was generous to a fault and sees his personal property and belongings as that of everybody.
“Our late father had the biggest cashew farm in the whole of Patigi and it will interest you to know that during harvest, some of those working on the farm will bring just two bags for him which is about N40,000 while others are making over N2million from the farm. Each time we complained, he will tell us that what is the benefit of wealth or property that one can’t use to favour his fellow being,” Abdullahi stated.
… late Etsu, man of peace, says Saraki
The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki yesterday, expressed sadness over the death of a foremost traditional ruler in Kwara State, the Etsu Patigi, Alhaji Umar Chatta Ibrahim.
Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, described the late royal father as a man of peace, whose reign witnessed monumental development in his domain in particular and Kwara State, in general.
“Alhaji Umar Chatta Ibrahim was an older friend and an ardent supporter. I will personally miss his advise and fatherly disposition. He was always an apostle of peace and good relationship between the various peoples and areas in our dear state. He shall be dearly missed.
“The last time I saw him was during the electioneering campaigns, he was lively and articulate about the hopes and aspirations of the people of Patigi, in particular, and the Kwara North Senatorial District in general. As usual, one saw a traditional ruler who tirelessly canvassed the interest of his people. One never realised it was the last meeting we had that day,” Saraki said.
Saraki commiserated with the immediate family of the deceased, Patigi community, the Etsu in Council, Kwara State Traditional Council and the people and government of Kwara State over the irreparable loss.
He prayed Allah to grant the soul of the departed royal father a place among the righteous ones in Aljannah Firdaus, and to his loved ones, the fortitude to bear the loss.
Similarly, the former vice president, Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate also commiserated with the people of Patigi over the death of their royal father.
He prayed that God grants the people of the local government and the state the fortitude to bear the loss.
“My condolences to the people of Patigi Emirate and the entire Kwara State Traditional Council.
“My prayer is that Allah SWT eases the burden of loss on the bereaved family and grant the late Emir Ibrahim Umar into Aljannah Firdaus.” Atiku wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.”
…we’ve lost one of the builders of modern Kwara – Gov Ahmed
The State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed equally condoled the people of Patigi Emirate over the death of Etsu Patigi.
The Governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abdulwahab Oba described the demise of the monarch as a great loss and departure of one of the builders of modern Kwara.
Ahmed, said the demise of the Etsu draws the curtain on one of the most peaceful, finest and most respected traditional rulers in the state.
“The death of His Royal Highness, Etsu Patigi saddens our mind. He was first among equals. His reign validated him as a powerful but compassionate monarch, who was in tune with the needs and aspirations of his people.
“I join thousands of Patigi citizens and Kwarans to mourn the departure of one of our greats”, Ahmed said.
…his demise, colossal loss to humanity – Emir
The Emir of Ilorin and Chairman Kwara State Traditional Council, Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari (Dr), has expressed deep shock over the death of the Etsu Patigi, Ibrahim Chatta Umar.
The emir in his condolence message signed by the National Secretary of Shehu Alimi Foundation for Peace and Development, Abdulazeez Arowona, described the demise of the highly respected monarch as a colossal loss to humanity.
Sulu-Gambari said the late Etsu Patigi was a true epitome of peace and symbol of unity to the entire Nupe speaking tribes in the State and beyond, stressing that his death will no doubt create a wide vacuum which cannot be forgotten so soon.
He further noted that late Etsu Chatta Umar was until his death the Vice Chairman of the Kwara State traditional council and has used his wealth of experience to promote the council through his numerous outstanding contributions.
“I received the news of his death with crude shock. Etsu Chatta Umar was a peace-loving monarch whose penchant growth and development of the emirate and state at large know no bound. We will surely miss him.
“I pray that Almighty Allah will forgive his shortcomings, admit him into al-janatul firdaos and give the family and the entire people of Patigi Emirate Council the fortitude to bear the great loss”, he added.
… he was committed to Kwara’s devt – Speaker
In his reaction, the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmad described the demise of Ibrahim Chatta Umar as a huge loss to the state.
In a condolence message issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Shuaib Abdulkadir in Ilorin, the Speaker said the late traditional ruler is a detribalised Nigerian who used his position to unite the state despite several ethnicities that abound in Kwara.
Ahmad recalled with nostalgia several opportunities he had to rub minds with the foremost late monarch on issues bothering on state, adding that late Umar at any point in time was never busy to share lofty ideas on how to further move the state forward.
The speaker, who rued the royal father’s passage to the great beyond said he died at a time his services, experience, words of wisdom are still very much required towards building Kwara as an enviable state in Nigeria.
He noted that the deceased who until his demise was the Vice Chairman, Kwara State Council of Traditional Rulers served diligently, regretting that the late monarch would be greatly missed by his subjects, the traditional council and the state at large.
Ahmad stressed that the first class royal father’s peaceful reign spanning decades brought about tremendous improvement and development to the Ancient Nupe Town, adding that he ruled to the admiration of his subjects.
Ahmad, however condoled Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, the Chairman, State Traditional Council, Ibrahim SuluGambari, Patigi Local Government, Patigi Emirate Council and his immediate royal family over Umar’s loss, noting that his death is a bitter pill difficult to swallow.
He also commiserated with the people of Patigi on behalf of the House, the legislators as well as the staff of the Assembly.
The speaker prayed Allah in His Infinite mercy to provide the wherewithal for the deceased family to speedily overcome the Irreplaceable loss, forgive the late monarch’s shortcomings and grant him Al-Jannah Firdaus.
Also, the former chairman of Federal Character Commission and Talba of Ilorin, Prof. Shuaib Oba Abdulraheem, described the late Etsu as a visionary and selfless traditional ruler whose reign has brought significant development to humanity at large.
The varsity don in his condolence message issued in Ilorin on Wednesday expressed sadness over the death stressing that the late Etsu Patigi was one of the highly respected monarch with unique and exceptional leadership qualities.
… his passing, monumental loss to Nigeria – Bolaji Abdullahi
The former Minister of Sports and Youths Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdulllahi has described the sudden death of Etsu Pategi, Alh Ibrahim Chatta Umar as a monumental loss not only to Kwara but Nigeria as a whole.
Mallam Abdullahi expressed shock and disbelief over the passage of Estu, which he noted will leave a big vacuum in the State traditional institution.
According to him, “We have lost a father, who was deeply committed to the welfare of his people and the progress of Kwara State. A courageous and forthright ruler who spoke the truth without fear or favour.”
The former gubernatorial aspirant commiserated with the Emir of Ilorin Alh Ibrahim Zulu-Gambari and other Royal Fathers in the State for the colossal loss.
While praying to Allah to be pleased with the soul of the monarch he enjoined the immediate family he left behind to take solace in the fact that the departed Etsu led a good life worthy of emulation.
He then prayed to Allah to grant the family as well as the great people of Pategi community and all Nupe sons and daughters the fortitude to bear this great loss.
…he’ll be missed for peace, unity advocacy – APN Guber candidate
The Governorship candidate of the Alternative Party of Nigeria (APN) in Kwara State, Amb Mohammed Abubakar Mohammed has described the death of Etsu Patigi, Alhaji Ibrahim Chatta Umar as a great loss to Kwara and Nigeria at large.
Amb Mohammed in a condolence message made available to this medium on Wednesday said Alhaji Umar will be missed for his advocacy for peace and unity within Nupe tribe within and outside the country.
He said the late monarch was a progressive minded, upright and committed to development of his community.
Amb Mohammed noted that he will personally miss Alhaji Umar because of his affinity to the royal family.
He prayed that the Almighty Allah will forgive the late Etsu Patigi’s shortcomings and grant him eternal rest.
…KWHA eulogises Etsu
The Kwara State House of Assembly(KWHA) has described the demise of the Etsu of Patigi, Alhaji Ibrahim Chatta Umar as a colossal loss to the entire people of the state.
To this end, the legislature is to send high powered delegation to commiserate with the people of Patigi Emirate over the departure of the foremost traditional ruler.
The House equally observed a minute silent in honour of the deceased at the floor of the House.
This followed a Motion, raised by a member representing Edu Constituency, Hon. Ishiaku Aliyu Adams on the death of Etsu of Patigi and Vice Chairman of the State Council of Traditional.
The Speaker, Dr Ali Ahmad, while calling on members to observe a minute silent, described him as an exemplary leader who had passion for the wellbeing and development of his domain.
The foremost traditional ruler according to the Speaker, had served as guidance to the leadership of the House, through counseling , pointing out that he was full of life when he visited the ruler on the 27th of last month.
Dr Ahmad explained with sadness that the House in particular and the state at large , would miss his fatherly advice and prayed Allah to grant his soul, Al Janat Firdaous.
The House Leader, Hon Hassan Oyeleke, members representing Ilorin Central, Kaiama/Kemanji/Wajibe Constituencies, Hajia Segilola Abdul Kadir and Hon. Ahmed Ibn Mohammed, described the monarch as fearless, committed and courageous leader who loved his people and attracted investments to him domain, pointing out that his legacies would live on.
…his death a rude shock, says Kwara PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) in Kwara State has commiserated with the good people of Pategi, the Kwara State Government and entire Kwarans over the demise of the Etsu of Pategi, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim Chatta.
In a condolence message signed by its Chairman, Engr. Kola Shittu, the party described the death of the monarch as sad and unfortunate, saying it received the news with rude shock.
“Alhaji Umar Ibrahim Chatta was a well respected, peace loving, responsible and responsive leader who was committed to the welfare of his subjects and the development and progress of Pategi.
“He also in his capacity as the Vice-Chairman of the Kwara State Traditional Council, contributed immensely towards to the maintenance of peace and harmony in the State. He will be sorely missed and his contributions will never be forgotten.”
The Kwara PDP condoled the family of the late traditional ruler, his loved ones, colleagues and the people of Pategi, and prayed God Almighty grant them the fortitude to bear this huge loss.
The party also prayed Almighty Allah forgive his shortcomings and grant him Aljanah Firdaus .
… he was a fearless monarch – group
The Kwara Youth Strategic Movement has joined thousands of sympathisers and the entire Nupe Kingdom to mourn the loss of a first class traditional ruler and Etsu of Patigi, Alhaji Ibrahim Chatta Umar.
The Kwara Youth Strategic Movement in a statement released in Ilorin yesterday and signed by the Coordinator of the group, Amb. Gegele Ahmed Ibrahim observed that although the loss of the traditional ruler is painful and regrettable, it is however full of eternal gratitude to Allah for a life of tremendous impact and enduring legacies of the late Emir.
The group also praised the traditional ruler for his fearless but egalitarian disposition, it noted that throughout the lifetime of the late Etsu Patigi, “he espoused the virtues of love, tolerance and peaceful coexistence”.
“His enduring legacies and indelible marks will be greatly and fondly remembered.” The statement added.
May God grant the soul of the departed good rest, grant his family of the fortitude to bear the loss and comfort all who mourn the passage of this rare colossus!