Jonathan joins others eminent Nigerians to mourn ex-minister, Kontagora

By The Citizen

President Goodluck Jonathan and other eminent Nigerians on Thursday described as a colossal loss the death of the former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Maj.-Gen. Mamman Tsoho Kontagora, who died at the age of 69, on Wednesday night during a brief illness. He was until his passage, the Deputy Chairman of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P).

In a statement by the Presidential Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Rueben Abati, Jonathan, on behalf of himself, the Federal Government and all Nigerians, extended sincere condolences to the late minister's family, the Kontagora Emirate Council, Governor Babangida Aliyu and the people of Niger State.

He added: 'The President joins them in mourning the illustrious and indefatigable former Minister of Works and the FCT who, even in retirement, continued to serve his fatherland with zeal, vigour and enthusiasm whenever he was called upon to do so.

'President Jonathan believes that the nation will always honour the memory of the late army engineer for having served Nigeria with commendable patriotism and distinction during an excellent career in the Armed Forces and in various other capacities in the public service, including as minister, Sole Administrator of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and Chairman of the Presidential Committee on the Development of National Stadia for the World Youth Soccer Championship in 1995.

'He prayed God Almighty to grant his soul eternal rest.'

The President has dispatched a three-man Federal Government delegation, led by the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, to represent him at Kontagora's burial

Also on the delegation is the Minister of State for Power, Mrs. Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi, and the Chairman of Sure-P, Dr. Christopher Kolade.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the NSGF and Governor of Niger State, Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu, gave the group's condolence in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo.

Describing Kontagora as a patriot who died in the service of his fatherland, the governors said they were pained by his demise, but were taking solace in the fact that he lived an exemplary and purposeful life with remarkable achievements as a military officer, administrator, community leader and a dedicated family man.

'He was an uncommon statesman, a dependable ally, a devout Muslim, a great military officer, a highly disciplined gentleman and a respected mentor of his sub-ordinate officers,' the statement added.