Tributes pour in as Tofa goes home at 74
Presidential candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC), Alhaji Bashir Tofa, has passed on at 74 years of age.
A family source confirmed that Tofa died yesterday at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano State while battling an undisclosed illness, 29 years after losing his presidential bid to Chief Moshood Abiola.
The death of the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain was rumoured on December 31, 2021, but was later put to rest when the family confirmed that he was critically ill.
The Presidency, Northern groups and politicians have mourned the business tycoon.
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, dispatched a delegation to Kano with a condolence letter to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, describing Tofa as a true nationalist who would be difficult to replace.
The team comprises the Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd.); Minister of Water Resources, Sulaiman Adamu; Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu; and Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris.
In a tribute, Buhari noted that Tofa was a politician of note, who promoted Islamic culture and civilisation.
TO honour the statesman, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has postponed its security summit scheduled for January 5 and 6, 2022.
National coordinator of the group, Balarabe Rufai, announced, yesterday, in Abuja that the postponement was to honour Tofa.
In a condolence message issued yesterday in Abuja, Spokesperson of CNG, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said the group owed immeasurable gratitude to Tofa, whose leadership, sacrifice, statesmanship, patriotism and unwavering commitment to the interests of the North and Nigeria as a whole has few parallels.
YOBE State Governor and Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Mai Mala Buni, in a statement, expressed sadness over the demise of the Kano-born politician.
The governor said Tofa passed on when the country’s democracy needed his wise counsel.
AREWA Consultative Forum (ACF) and Northern Speakers Forum (NSF) also expressed sadness over Tofa’s demise.
ACF Spokesman, Emmanuel Yawe, said: “We are saddened by news of the death of Tofa, a successful businessman from Kano and one of those who invested their time, energy and money to form ACF.”
The Chairman of NSF, Yusuf Zailani (Kaduna), said: “Nigeria has lost a perfect gentleman. Tofa was peaceful and patriotic. He was never named among controversial politicians that fan embers of disunity, confusion and disintegration.”
Also, Northern Elders Forum (NEF) stated, yesterday, in Abuja, that the North and Nigerians were deeply saddened by the passing of Tofa.
NEF’s Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said: “The North has lost an indefatigable defender of its dignity and values, Nigeria lost an illustrious son, and NEF lost a loyal founding member, a firm believer in responsible and visionary leadership.”
Also, APC chieftain, Prof. Vitalis Ajumbe, described Tofa as a man of peace, who believed in one Nigeria and good governance.
In a tribute, the former Commissioner for Information in Imo State remarked that he lost a personal friend, a mentor and political ally in Tofa.
“He was a good friend of the South East, a firm believer in the handshake across the Niger, which he demonstrated by choosing Chief Sylvester Ugo as his running mate in the 1993 presidential election,” he said.