The mother of Etsu Nupe and chairman, Niger State Traditional Rulers’ Council, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, Hajiya Habiba Goggo Bantigi Abubakar, passed on yesterday morning in Bida at the age of 83 years.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the late Hajiya Habiba died at the Federal Medical Centre, Bida, at about 10am after a protracted illness.
The late Hajiya Bantigi was born into the Umar Majigi Nupe ruling house and is the elder sister of the Shabban Nupe, Alhaji Abdulmalik Ndayako. She is survived by seven children, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She was educated at Women Teachers’ College, Sokoto and graduated as a grade two teacher in 1943 before starting her teaching career at Masaba Primary School, Bida, where she taught before retiring.
Speaking on the virtues of his mother, Etsu Nupe Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar said she was a mother to all who never showed any disparity in dealing with other people irrespective of background.
“She was a caring mother, disciplined and a mother to all. She did not show any difference. She took everybody as her own,” Etsu Nupe said.
The funeral was conducted in accordance with Islamic rites by the chief Imam of Nupeland, Sheikh Adamu Yakatu, at the Wadata Palace, Bida. The Niger State deputy governor, Hon. Ahmed Musa Ibeto, represented the governor Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu.
Yakatu prayed that Allah (SWT) grant the deceased Aljanna Firdausi and the family the fortitude to bear the loss.
The burial was witnessed by large crowd of sympathizers including former Niger State governor Engineer Abdulkadir Kure, former chief of army staff General Mohammed Inuwa Wushishi, minister of state for Niger Delta Hajiya Zainab Kuchi, Senator Zainab Kure, former minister of sports Engineer Sani Ndanusa, Emir of Kontagora Alhaji Saidu Namaska, Etsu Agaie Mohammed Kudu, Etsu Lapai Alhaji Umar Bago, Emir of Kalgara Alhaji Salihu Tanko as well as members of the State Assembly and Executive Council.
Meanwhile, the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) has issued a condolence message signed by the chairman of the forum and Niger State governor Babangida Aliyu. It described the death of Hajiya Habiba as a big loss to Etsu Yahaya and the people of Niger State, especially as it came at a critical period when her parental support is needed to help resolve the myriad of challenges confronting the nation.
Aliyu urged the Etsu Nupe and the Nupe race to be consoled by the fact that it is only Allah (SWT) that gives and takes life whenever He pleases.
He advised the Etsu not to be discouraged by Hajiya Habiba’s death, but to forge ahead with the enormous task of providing leadership to his subjects and the state’s Council of Traditional Rulers.
The Niger State governor said the best tribute the traditional ruler could pay to his late mother was to continue to touch the lives of Nigerians positively as he has been doing since he mounted the throne about a decade ago.
He prayed Allah to grant the deceased Aljannah Firdaus and members of her family and the entire Nupe race the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
The Wadata Palace of the Etsu Nupe in Bida has continued to witness influx of sympathisers.