The Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Shehu Usman Abubakar, died yesterday at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.
A statement issued by the state Governor, Alhaji Ibrahm Hassan Dankwambo, and signed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Abubakar Bage, said the emir died while receiving treatment at a London hospital yesterday evening.
The statement said: “It is with deep sense of loss that His Excellency, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, Governor of Gombe State, announces the passing away of His Royal Highness, Alhaji Shehu Usman Abubakar, the Emir of Gombe and Chairman of Gombe State Council of Emirs and Chiefs which happened today (yesterday) in London.”
According to the statement, the burial rites would be announced soonest.
Meanwhile, former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, were the first to pay tribute to the late monarch.
Atiku described him as an ageless achiever who inspired his subjects to seek education as a means of liberation from poverty and ignorance.
Atiku said the long reign of the late emir brought progress and development to his people for which the adored and respected him as a father and community leader.
“ For now, all I can do is to pray to Almighty Allah to repose his soul and grant his family, his entire subjects and the entire country the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss,” he said.
On his part, Tambuwal said the demise of the emir was a shock.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal described the late traditional ruler as a man of peace whose reign brought about unprecedented development in Gombe Emirate.
He said the deceased was a man of conviction who earned the respect of his subjects and outsiders alike.
“He stood firmly for what he believed in. To him, the interest of the people of Gombe was paramount in all his dealings. The late Emir will be sorely missed by all those who know him. I pray to Allah to forgive his shortcomings and reward his good deeds with Jannat al firdausi,” the Speaker added.