The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has described the late former Governor of Kaduna state, Alhaji Balarabe Musa as a patriot who was committed to the progressive ideals of making Nigeria great.
Aregbesola in a tribute to Musa who breathed his last on Wednesday morning at 84 said the deceased was a thorough-bred leader and a consummate defender of the poor.
According to the Minister, the late second republic governor was deeply rooted in principles of ensuring that the masses are prosperous and liberated.
Aregbesola said “It is therefore a huge shock and surprise that our leader and pillar in the struggle to build a just, humane and progressive society in Nigeria has returned to his maker; never again to be part of those patriotic efforts to make Nigeria very great and leader in the African renaissance.
“Mallam Musa was a patriot, democrat, socialist, consummate defender of the poor, advocate of social and economic justice, promoter of human rights, liberty and dignity and, above all, a very good man. His passage at 84 is the end of an era.
“He was a man of steely resolve on principles, yet soft to the core in relations with people.
He was one of the colourful politicians of the Second Republic. Though he would go down in history as the first state governor to be impeached, he was insistent that the reason the opposition National Party of Nigeria (NPN) dominated legislature removed him from office was his plan to massively empower the masses through the establishment of micro and small enterprises.”
The Interior Minister added that “His brief period as the governor of Kaduna State was remarkable in his commitment to the people in the improvement of their living and working conditions.
“He will be well represented in the pantheons of the heroes of democracy for his brave and uncompromising stand on military disengagement and return of civil democratic rule, all through the period of military rule. This was at great personal risk and discomfort.
“He consistently spoke truth to power and was always on the side of the people at the most critical junctions in the history of the country. He wore his opposition epaulet with honour and dignity. He could not be compromised, intimidated or silenced.
“He fought a good fight. He ran a good race. He won an invaluable and eternal position in the hearts of the masses and patriots for his priceless services to humanity.
“We pray that Allah SWT will forgive his shortcomings and grant him a beautiful abode in Aljannah Fridaous. Aamin.”