Written by By Mansur Sani Malam and Abdul’Aziz A. Abdul’Aziz:
FG sends 9-man delegation for condolence || Fifteen suspects in the armed robbery attack that caused the death of former Kano State governor Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi on Sunday are being interrogated by the police, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ogbonnaya Onovo, has said.
Onovo, who was in Kano yesterday to condole with the state government and the Emir of Kano over the demise of the first civilian governor of the state, described the incident as unfortunate. He pledged that the police would leave no stone unturned in getting to the root of the incident.
Rimi and three others – his brother, a security aide and driver – were robbed by unknown persons on their way from Bauchi on Sunday, an incident that caused Rimi’s blood pressure to rise, leading to his death on the way to hospital in Kano that night.
Speaking to newsmen at the residence of late Rimi, the inspector-general said, “Fifteen persons have been arrested through the effort of the vigilante and the district head and the other community leaders, including the effort of the Miyetti Allah (cattle breeders’ association) that has come in to assist us.
“They are local hoodlums and they must be known in the vicinity. So those people arrested are still being interrogated and I can assure you that we will come to the bottom of this.”
He vowed that the police would ensure that such incident did not happen again.
“We will continue to enhance our performances and we will also continue to seek community partnership between the police and the community so that such miscreants, such hoodlums, would be identified and arrested before they commit any havoc.”
According to the IGP, in fighting against crime, “You win some, you lose some,” adding that the police had been on their toes “because that particular road has been under police surveillance and patrol for a very long time.
“It was indeed unfortunate that this incident occurred. That road has been safe for a very long time,” he added.
Paying tributes to the deceased, Onovo described the death of Rimi as “a terrible loss”.
“The country has lost a great statesman, a detribalised Nigerian, a flamboyant politician, a man who, if he remained alive, would have contributed much to the liberation of the masses and the poor in this country,” he said.
“There is the inevitability of destiny. I think it was destined to happen this way and all we can do now is to pray for the repose of his soul and for all those he left behind to have the fortitude to bear the loss.”
Onovo also visited the Government House where he condoled with the acting governor of the state, Engineer Abdullahi Tijjani Gwarzo.
He was also at the palace of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, for the same purpose before arriving the residence of the bereaved.
At the Rimis’ residence, Onovo met with the Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, who is the chief mourner and had been at the house since the day of the burial.
Onovo condoled with two younger brothers and two sons of the deceased.
He wrote at length in the condolence register before he was ushered into the main house where he met a sister of late Rimi, his widow and daughters.
Onovo urged them to take solace in the fact that the deceased had lived for the emancipation of the common man.
He told the bereaved that Rimi’s death was not only a public loss but also a personal loss to him.
The IGP recalled that he had worked with Rimi, which transformed into acquaintance.
Onovo assured them that the culprits will not go scot-free.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government yesterday sent a nine-man delegation to Kano to commiserate with the family, the people and the government of the state over the death of Rimi.Speaking during the visit at the state Government House, the leader of the delegation, the Minister of National Planning, Dr . Shamsuddeen Usman, said they were in Kano on the directive of Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to convey a condolence message from the Federal Government over the demise of the late former governor. He said the government regarded the death of Rimi as a big loss that not only to Kano but the country as a whole.
The minister stated that because Rimi was enigmatic, his political and other achievements have gone far beyond Kano.
Usman said the acting president prayed that God in His infinite mercy would forgive the deceased as well as give his family, the people of Kano and the people of Nigeria the fortitude to bear this loss.
Members of the delegation included Shamsuddeen Usman; the Deputy National Vice-Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Bello Halliru; National Secretary of the PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje; Special Adviser on Political Matters to the Acting President, Dr. Akilu Sani Indabawa; Alhaji Usman Albishir; Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly, Dr. Abba Aji; Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly, Hon. Abdullahi Gumel; and two special assistants to Jonathan – Dr. Karo Ojibo and Alhaji Muhammad Kachalla.
The delegation also paid a visit to the family of Rimi and the Emir of Kano.
Meanwhile, the Adamawa State governor, Rear Admiral Murtala Nyako (rtd), regretted that Rimi died at a time the nation highly needed his contribution towards the sustenance of democracy.
Nyako, who was in Kano, visited the Emir of Kano and Government House, urged the leaders to always fear God in their activities and ensure good services to the people, as well as exhibit good conduct for the benefit of the younger ones.
He added that it was necessary for all stakeholders in the society to embark on creating programmes that would enhance the goodwill of the youths through the provision of employment and qualitative education.
Hundreds of sympathisers are still trooping to the residence of Alhaji Rimi to commiserate with his family.
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