President Muhammadu Buhari has paid tribute to Alhaji Mohammed Wabili, Sarkin Malamai, Gombe, who died on Friday, describing him as a man of impeccable integrity who unshakably stood by him before and after his foray into politics.
Wabili was Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice when the President, then an Army Colonel, served as the Military Governor of the defunct Northeastern State, now made up of six states.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, said the President expressed his condolence through a delegation he sent to Gombe, led by the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari.
President Buhari said it was rare in these days to find men like the deceased who “stubbornly held onto principles, standing for what they believed in, come rain or shine”.
He recalled that from the moment he made up his mind to join partisan politics, the late Sarkin Malamai was part of a small group who sat down with him to draw his vision and programmme of action to the voting public during the three times he ran for the presidency, until the fourth when he was elected.
‘‘He was in politics, not to make gains or hold positions but to see to the actualization of the vision for a greater Nigeria that we commonly shared. I remain appreciative of the intellectual and other forms of contributions he made to me since we started. May his soul Rest In Peace,” the President said.
The presidential aide said: “At Government House Gombe the delegation was received by Governor Inuwa Yahaya.
“The Presidential delegation condoled with the government and people of Gombe State over the loss of the senior citizen and active elder of the All Progressives Congress who was committed to the party’s ideal until his demise”.
Governor Yahaya of Gombe State thanked the President for sending a delegation to commiserate with the people of Gombe over the passing of Wabili.
“Your visit has given us succor. He lived a good life and lived for long.
‘‘He was an inspiration to Gombe State, the Northern geopolitical region and the Nation as a whole. He remained steadfast in support of Mr. President and we appreciate all he had been able to accomplish,” the governor said.
He assured the President that Gombe would continue to support the good policies of his administration to improve the welfare of Nigerians.
At the residence of the deceased Sarkin Malamai, the family spokesman Alhaji Jibril Dukku also thanked the President for sharing in their grief.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Ali Pantami, the Senior Special Assistants to the President, Ya’u Darazo and Garba Shehu, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Jalal Arabi and the Dan Madami of Daura, Musa Haro were on the delegation.