John Alechenu, Olusola Fabiyi, Samuel Awoyinfa, Olalekan Adetayo and Leke Baiyewu
A former Minister of Finance, Malam Adamu Ciroma, on Thursday, died at the Turkish Hospital in Abuja, aged 84.
Ciroma, who was appointed Minister of Finance by the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration, was once a governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The late statesman studied History and was trained as a journalist. He began his career as a Special Assistant on Political Affairs to the late Premier of the Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello.
Before his foray into partisan politics, he rose to become the Managing Director of The New Nigerian Newspaper.
He aspired for the Nigerian presidency on several occasions and was also a Minister of Agriculture under the President Shehu Shagari-led administration.
The late Ciroma was a founding figure of the Peoples Democratic Party and served as a member of its Board of Trustees.
He was also one of those who stood against the military dictatorship of the late Gen. Sani Abacha.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, condoled with the Ciroma family and the government and people of Yobe State on the death of the elder statesman.
The statement read, “The President believes that Ciroma, as a political leader and federal cabinet minister for industries, agriculture and finance at various points in his remarkable life, will be long remembered for his remarkable service and dedication to the country’s unity, progress and stability.
“President Buhari also affirms that the late former CBN governor will be honoured too for his contributions in promoting democracy in Nigeria and that his legacies should be a constant reminder to politicians who wish to work for the good of their communities and our great country.
“The President prays that the Almighty Allah will grant Mallam Ciroma eternal rest and comfort the elder statesman’s family, relatives, friends and associates.”
Similarly, former President Olusegun Obasanjo expressed shock at Ciroma’s death, describing him as a statesman who gave his best to his fatherland.
The ex-President, in a condolence letter addressed to Ciroma’s wife, added that the deceased was a distinguished public servant, who was greatly admired by the general public and his peers as a straightforward and complete gentleman.
The statement partly read, “While words are hardly enough to express our sympathy at this time, you can definitely take justifiable pride in the fact that your late husband was a statesman who gave of his best to his fatherland. He will be sorely missed by all of us.”
A former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, in a statement by his media office in Abuja, added that Ciroma’s death had robbed Nigeria of one of its finest statesmen who gave their best to their country.
Atiku, while recalling his last visit to Ciroma on his sickbed on Tuesday, said, “Little did I know that that was going to be the last time I would see the man that I have looked up to as a mentor for several decades.”
Meanwhile, the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, described Ciroma’s death as a monumental loss to Nigeria.
Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, said with the death of Ciroma, Nigeria had lost “one of its illustrious sons and highly respected elder statesmen with vast experience in many spheres of life.”
The Senate President called on the Federal Government to immortalise the late CBN governor by naming a strategic national monument after him.
Also, a former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, described Ciroma’s death as a great loss.
Daniel, in a statement by his Media Officer, Ayo Giwa, said Ciroma was a highly respected person who distinguished himself as a public servant, journalist, banker, administrator and politician.
The former governor, while describing the late statesman as one of the few remaining titans and forefront nationalists who laid the foundation for modern-day Nigeria, added that the demise of Ciroma ended a glorious chapter in the nation’s history.
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