Posted by From Onwuka Nzeshi in Abuja on
Activities at the Corporate Headquarters of the Nigerian Postal Service(NIPOST) were at a standstill yesterday following the death of the Post Master General of the Federation (PMG), Alhaji Abubakar Musa Argungu and his Personal Assistant, Mr. Stephen Eneware in the ill-fated Bellview plane crash
Activities at the Corporate Headquarters of the Nigerian Postal Service(NIPOST) were at a standstill yesterday following the death of the Post Master General of the Federation (PMG), Alhaji Abubakar Musa Argungu and his Personal Assistant, Mr. Stephen Eneware in the ill-fated Bellview plane crash. But it became an unfortunate harvest of death when news also filtered in that the Deputy Post Master General, Mr. Victor Madojutola had died at the National Hospital, Abuja in the early hours of yesterday.
At the entrance to the office complex were two condolence registers, one for the victims of the plane crash and the other for the late Madojutola, who was said to have died after a protracted illness. Beside the registers were the photographs of the three deceased men. But the sheer coincidence of these deaths made the atmosphere more gloomy. Everywhere one looked one was confronted with the mournful looks of workers, relatives, friends and visitors who had converged there in honour of the dead.
NIPOST's Head of Public Relations, Miss Hussaini Charity Ato disclosed that the late Argungu was on his way from Bonn, Switzerland where he attended the Conference of the Council of Administration, Universal Postal Union(UPU) alongside other top officials of the Nigerian Postal Service.
Ato said the management and staff of NIPOST received the news of the deaths with a rude shock. "It is as if the tragedy just came and enveloped us. So we are just in the hands of God. I have not spoken with those in the field so I wouldn't know if post offices across the nation are open for business today.
But as for the headquarters, there is nothing happening because we are in a very sad mood. It is not easy to lose somebody like Alhaji Argungu and then have business go on as usual. It is not possible at all because everybody is affected- from management team to the messenger and the cleaners. Argungu was somebody out of this world and that is because in all aspects of life he was good. He was humble, a good listener and a problem. We will all miss him, but personally I have lost a friend and a confidante," the NIPOST image maker said.
At the No. 1, Lobito Crescent, Maitama residence of the Argungus, the mood was equally mournful as family members, friends and dignitaries trooped in and out to commiserate with the immediate family of the deceased Post Master General. A condolence register was placed at the entrance to his residence.
Canopies were erected outside the main house to accommodate the overflow of visitors. Inside the living room a group of men sat on the rugged floor praying in the Islamic way. There were no women in sight. A member of the house told THISDAY that the wife of the late Argungu was upstairs with a group of women and may not like to be disturbed.
A look at the condolence register showed that several dignitaries including the National Security Adviser, Lt. Gen. Aliyu Mohammed Gusau and Senate President Ken Nnamani had earlier called on the family to pay their last respects. Other dignitaries who signed the condolence register at the Lobito crescent home of the Argungus included Sen. Sarki Tafida, Sen. Jonathan Zwingina, Sen. Mohammed Abaji, Sen. Victor Egba, Sen. Usman Tsauri, Sen. Jubril Aminu, Sen Arthur Nzeribe and Sen. Emma Agboti.
Former Minister of Communication, Dr. Bello Mohammed, Minister of Communication, Chief Cornelius Adebayo, Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Yayale, Sports Minister Samido Sambawa as well as the Governor of Zamfara State, Sanni Yerima also signed the condolence register.