Malam Isma’ila Isa Funtua, a Life Patron of International Press Institute (IPI) and Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) and a very close associate of President Muhammadu Buhari, will be buried Tuesday, according to Muslim rites.
Seventy-six years old Malam Funtua, who was also the former Publisher of Kaduna based Democrat Newspapers, died at a hospital in Abuja where he drove himself to after complaining of pain in his chest on Monday night. His doctor certified him dead about three hours after arrival.
Already, President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed deep sadness over the passing of his long-time friend and associate, Malam Isma’ila Isa Funtua.
Presidential Spokesperson, Malam Garba Shehu, said in statement that President Buhari condoled with family members, government and people of Katsina State and all associates of the former President of NPAN, especially the media industry, on the loss.
Buhari described late Funtua as “greatly admired and respected.”
According to the Nigerian leader, the demise of the former Publisher and businessman has created a huge gap as “Funtua consistently stood by him in his political journey.”
The President prayed to Allah for the repose of Funtua’s soul and to grant the family, strength and fortitude to bear the loss.
Sources said that the late Funtua had previously been treated for a heart related ailment in a London hospital but could not travel for routine consultations with his doctors because of the ban on commercial flights due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and had to rely on local doctors to manage the protracted heart ailment.
Already, Mallam Funtua’s body has been washed and prepared for burial later on Tuesday under the supervision of close friends and associates.
Sources said that the burial would be based according to the protocols laid out by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 that limits the number of people that could gather at a particular event including burials.