Unic Press UK: Following the news of the sudden death of Isma’ila Isa Funtua, a bosom friend and lifelong political associate of the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, the presidency has issued a statement expressing sadness over the sad event.
In a statement Monday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), Garba Shehu, said:
“The President condoles with family members, government and people of Katsina State, and all associates of the former President of NPAN, especially the media industry, on the loss, describing him as “greatly admired and respected. President Buhari believes the demise of the publisher and businessman has created a huge gap as Malam Funtua consistently stood by him in his political journey. The President prayed to Allah for repose of Malam Funtua’s soul, and to grant the family strength and fortitude to bear the loss.”
Before his demise Monday, Mr Funtua was the Life Patron of International Press Institute and Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN). He, arguably, was one of the most influential people in Nigeria under the current administration. Funtua is seen as a member of the ‘Cabal’, a band that has the ears of President Buhari. His personal views were, sometimes, perceived as controversial by some of the opposition political parties and the people of southern Nigeria.
In a tweet/reaction to the death of Funtua, an Associate Professor of Journalism & Emerging Media at Kennesaw State University, Farooq Kperogi, said: