President Muhammadu Buhari says the demise of his longtime friend and associate, Malam Isma’ila Isa Funtua, has created a huge gap as the deceased “consistently stood by him in his political journey.”
President Buhari, in a statement issued by his media aide, Garba Shehu, said he received the news of the death of Life Patron of International Press Institute and Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) with “deep sadness” on Monday evening.
The President, who commiserated 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, described the late publisher and businessman as “greatly admired and respected’’.
Buhari prayed to Allah for repose of Malam Funtua’s soul, and to grant the family strength and fortitude to bear the loss.
According to one of his brothers, Isa-Funtua died of cardiac arrest on Monday evening,
“Mallam told his family members that he wanted to see his doctor but decided to visit his barber first. He drove himself to the hospital,” the brother, who doesn’t want his name in print, told Daily Trust.
It was gathered that the remains of Mallam Funtua is being prepared at Area 1 mosque before his funeral on Tuesday morning.
Ismaila Isa was a renowned Business Executive and public officer with over thirty years of management experience.
He was Personnel Manager in United Textiles Limited (UNTL), responsible for over ten thousand staff and a one-time Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He was the founder of Bulet International Nigeria Limited (the largest wholly-owned indigenous construction company) which built most of the iconic public buildings in Abuja.
He was also the founding Managing Director of Democrat Newspaper and served as President of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) for 8 years.