President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed deep sadness over the death of his friend and political associate, Isa Funtua.
Funtua died of cardiac arrest on Monday night at the age of 78.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said in a statement that “President Muhammadu Buhari received with deep sadness on Monday evening information on the passing of his long-time friend and associate, Malam Isma’ila Isa Funtua, who was Life Patron of International Press Institute and Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria.
“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 the repose of Malam Funtua’s soul, and to grant the family strength and fortitude to bear the loss.”
The late entrepreneur was born in Funtua, Katsina State, and a pioneer student of the Federal Training Centre, Kaduna.
He served as the Minister of Water Resources in the defunct Second Republic during the administration of the late President Shehu Shagari. In the 1990s he set up a newspaper known as ‘The Democrat’ which was headed by the late Kyari.
Funtua was the Chairman, Bulet International Construction Company until his death.
He is expected to be buried on Tuesday according to Islamic rites.