A former Governor of Lagos, Bola Tinubu, has expressed shock at the passage of the Emir of Borgu, Haliru Dantoro Kitoro III, who died at a German hospital Friday.
In a statement Saturday, Mr. Tinubu said it was upsetting that the Emir passed away less than 48 hours after he visited him and witnessed how close he was to full recovery.
The statement read, “I received with shock, disbelief and great sadness the death of the Emir of Borgu in Niger State, Alhaji Haliru Dantoro Kitoro III [Mai Borgu]. It is a upsetting that the Emir passed away less than 48 hours after I visited him and witnessed how close he was to full recovery. He was full of life, jovial and eager to return to Nigeria this weekend. I feel a profound sense of personal loss on the sudden passing away of my royal father, a friend, brother and above all a confidant and supporter.
“His death is most painful coming at such a critical time when Nigeria was in dire need of his forthrightness and wisdom. He was a man who loved Nigeria truly. His patriotism was never in question. His loyalty was never in doubt. Nigeria for him was a nation of promise with diverse people bound together in one fate. He did not just dream of a totally united nation in word and deed; he worked tirelessly,day and night to seek to build bridges where there were none and to unite friends and foes. He was a people’s person and everywhere in Nigeria for him was home. He was highly progressive in his orientation and practice.
“Whenever the history of this epoch is written, he will be reserved several pages for his sacrifice for Nigeria, his love for country and its people and his unmatchable contribution to building a better and just society. Through his career as a public servant, a Senator and later a prominent royal father, Alhaji Haliru Dantoro, Kittoro III made sacrifices and contributed immensely to nation building. He will not be forgotten because his likes are rare.
“I came to know him very personally before he turbaned me the Jagaban of Borgu Kingdom. But thereafter, we became brothers, just like family. He never left me alone and I never left him alone either. We shared a common bond. A common patriotic desire to see Nigeria rise up to her full potentials. We were fired up in our belief that though the journey to nation hood may be long and tortuous , Nigeria had what it takes to attain greatness. We both shared the responsibility of contributing our time, resources and intellect to these onerous task.
“He was a major team player in the struggle for the new political dispensation we now enjoy in Nigeria today. He died a fulfilled man even though he went away early. I condole with the President Muhammadu Buhari, who has also lost a friend and brother and the people of Nigeria. Also my condolences to his fellow Emirs and Obas.
“Above all, I condole with his family and relatives. Also with his friends across the length and breath of this country. May Allah grant his soul eternal peace.”