The apex northern socio-cultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has expressed sadness over the death of Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, and one of its founding members, Alhaji Bashir Tofa.
ACF in separate condolence messages jointly signed by its national chairman, Chief Audu Ogbe and the national publicity secretary, Mr Emmanuel Yawe, described the death of the duo as painful and great loss to the country.
It would be recalled that the respected traditional ruler joined his ancestors on Sunday, January 2, 2022 while Tofa, a presidential candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) in the June 12, 1993 presidential election, died in early hours of Monday.
ACF said it considered the late Olubadan as a very progressive traditional ruler, who brought progress and stability to Ibadan, the headquarters of the defunct Western Region and a very powerful stool in Yoruba land with a pan-Nigeria spirit fostered and nurtured by good men such as Olubadan Adetunji.
“We mourn his departure because Nigeria has alot to learn from him. If he had lived on, we would have benefitted much more from his wisdom and stability of character.
“The ACF joins other Nigerians in mourning his death. The Forum sympathises with his immediate family, the Ibadan Traditional Rulers Council and Oyo Traditional Council,” it said.
ACF, therefore, prayed God to give them the wisdom to choose a worthy successor to the departed Olubadan.
“Similarly, ACF is also saddened with news of the death one of the founding members of the Forum, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, a successful businessman from Kano State was one of those who invested their time, energy and money during the formative stages of the forum.
“Having laid the foundation of the Forum, he preferred to stay at the back and play an advisory role in the affairs of the ACF. We are happy to say that up to his death, he identified with the ideals with which the ACF was founded.
“Bashir Tofa was a man of many parts. Sometimes a national politician, community leader or an international businessman. His participation in the 1993 presidential election as the candidate of the NRC overshadowed all other things he did. Maybe because Moshood Abiola was involved or because it was finally annulled.
“He was as much a victim of military meddlsomeness in politics as Abiola.
It is a measure of his good public conduct that he remained calm throughout and never did anything to stir up trouble when the country was almost on fire because of the annulled election.
“At the ACF, we see Tofa as a patriot who wanted to serve his country but was denied the opportunity by military. We do not believe it is a crime to want to serve,” it added.
ACF condoled with Tofa’s immediate family, the Kano bussiness community, Kano State chapter of ACF and Kano State government for the loss of their eminent son and prayed God to repose his soul.