The Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character, Senator Dahiru Awaisu Kuta, representing Niger East senatorial zone is dead.
Kuta, who died in Lagos in the early hours of yesterday, was on his way to London for treatment for an undisclosed ailment which had kept him bed ridden for over a year.
The late senator, who was aged 65, is survived by an aged mother, his wife and four children.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has extended his condolences to Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu and the people of Niger State on the death of Kuta.
A statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, Jonathan equally commiserated with the Senate President, Senator David Mark, the entire senate, Kuta’s family and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the sudden and unexpected death of the senator.
The statement read: “The president joins them in mourning Senator Kuta whose notable contributions to the legislative work of the Senate will be greatly missed. President Jonathan also believes that Senator Kuta’s significant contributions to the development of party politics and democratic institutions of governance in his home state and country will stand to his eternal credit and that he will always be remembered as a very committed and forthright lawmaker who did his best in the service of his community fatherland.”
He prayed that Almighty Allah would receive the late senator’s soul and grant him peaceful repose in paradise.
Also, Governor Aliyu in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Hon. Saidu Ndako Kpaki, said Kuta lived an exemplary and most inspiring life, and motivated and touched many lives.
Aliyu further stressed that his exceptional personality, warmth and charisma are the sterling qualities that would greatly be missed by all and sundry.
The statement noted that his patriotic tendencies and excellent handling of administrative and legislative duties concerning the people and the nation are worthy of emulation, adding that posterity will definitely honour and acknowledge him better.
He, therefore, prayed Almighty God to grant the deceased eternal rest and give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
The senator, who was one of the most vibrant, agile and resourceful senators until his sudden illness last year, soon became fragile and also lost his physical composure.
The severity of the illness resulted in his frequent absence from the parliament as he had to travel abroad often for treatment.
Even while he was present, he could no longer contribute to legislation as he had done hitherto.
Since his death was announced, the Senate has been thrown into mourning, saying it had again lost one of its vibrant, focused and dedicated members.
In a statement, Senate’s spokesman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, described the deceased as one of the most resourceful senators who loved his people dearly and worked assiduously for the good of not only his state and constituency but also the entire country.
In a swift reaction to the tragedy, Senate President, David Mark, who is on official trip to Brazil where he represented President Godluck Jonathan at the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup yesterday, lamented that “the cold hand of death has robbed the Senate and indeed the nation of a brilliant, vibrant and result-oriented lawmaker who distinguished himself in all ramifications.”
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, Mark who always addressed Kuta as “comrade,” lamented that his death had created a vacuum in the chamber, adding that the Senate would miss his sense of honesty, patriotism and humour.
He, however, said he was consoled that the late Kuta left a positive and indelible mark on the sand of time as he prayed the Almighty God to grant his soul eternal rest.
He also prayed God to give his family, government and people of Niger State the fortitude to bear the loss.
Also reacting to Kuta’s death, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, expressed shock over the tragedy, describing it as an “incalculable loss to the Senate and the nation.”
Ekweremadu, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media, Uche Anichukwu, described the late senator as a dependable senator who discharged his responsibilities most creditably and efficiently.
He said: “Distinguished Senator Kuta was a brother, friend and a paragon of integrity, principle, courage and competence. He was a pan-Nigerian who loved his country from the depth of his heart and worked selflessly towards its development. His death truly hit where it hurts most and I am pained that he did not live to see the Nigeria of our collective dream, which he worked so hard for, fully emerge from the challenges of the moment.