Chief Whip of House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, on Monday said the death of Alhaji Maitama Sule, Nigeria’s former Permanent Representative to United Nations, was a challenge to politicians.
Ado-Doguwa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that Sule epitomised exemplary political and community leadership, which every politician must strive to attain.
He said that though the Danmasanin Kano passed on at 87, his death was shocking, adding that he was a legend who, the vacuum created by his death would be difficult to fill, especially in politics.
“Maiatma Sule has been not only an icon of knowledge but a role model for most of us in politics and those of us who believe in traditional leadership.
“He has been so renowned in the development and projection of our traditional culture and I am short of words to describe this loss because it is a serious shock to me.
“It is with a heavy heart that I condole with his family, the governor and people of my state, Kano, for this irreparable loss.
“He has been like a father to my friends and me, including the entire nation. May Allah, the most high in His infinite mercies grant him eternal rest in paradise,’’ he said.
Mr Kayode Oladele, another lawmaker and Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said that Sule’s death was a wake-up call to youths.
Oladele said that the man was one of the pillars of Nigeria, and commiserated with his family and country.
He said that his demise was a call to the youth to step up and explore the nation “because Sule is someone who started as a youth to serve the nation’’.
According to him, the man lived all his life in the interest of Nigeria and contributed his quota to the nation.
Oladele noted that in Sule’s life, he never engaged in any controversy or any act of corruption, adding that there was nothing ascribed to him that tarnished his image.
“He represented us very well at the UN and also as an ambassador. So, I will say that we that are coming behind should emulate this great man of Nigeria and indeed, Africa.’’
He urged Nigerians to carry the baton from where Sule stopped.
On his part, Dr Jerry Ugokwe, former Nigeria’s Ambassador to Austria, described Sule’s death as a big loss, adding that he had left a “big shoe’’ which would be difficult to put on.
Ugokwe said that some of his efforts informed his assignment at the UN office in Vietnam.
“I followed him closely when he was our permanent representative in New York and I, as a former permanent representative in Vienna, took a cue from him.
“I studied all that has been done by him there and I translated them according to what my mandate was in Vienna.’’
Ugokwe prayed that the Almighty God would comfort the family, Kano State and Nigeria and for the repose of his soul. (NAN)