Posted by By Emeka Mamah, Tina Anthony & Charles Ozoemena on
ONE time First Lady of Nigeria, Hajiya Safinatu Buhari, died, yesterday, in Kaduna just 24 hours after the murder of the wife of Second Republic Governor of Kano State, Hajiya Saa’datu Rimi. President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday dispatched a condolence letter to Alhaji Abubakar Rimi on the death of his wife, while the pan-Yoruba group — Egbe Afenifere— called for a probe of the murder.
KADUNA — ONE time First Lady of Nigeria, Hajiya Safinatu Buhari, died, yesterday, in Kaduna just 24 hours after the murder of the wife of Second Republic Governor of Kano State, Hajiya Saa’datu Rimi. President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday dispatched a condolence letter to Alhaji Abubakar Rimi on the death of his wife, while the pan-Yoruba group — Egbe Afenifere— called for a probe of the murder.
Hajiya Safinatu was First Lady between January 1, 1984 and August 1985 when her husband, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, served as military head of state.
Her death followed a brief illness at the family’s residence at Inuwa Wada Road, Urgwar Rimi GRA, Kaduna. She has since been buried according to Islamic tradition.
Thousands of Buhari’s supporters and sympathisers went to condole him. Among the early callers was Governor Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi of Kaduna State.Kaduna State chairman of ANPP, Alhaji Kabir Umar described the death of Buhari’s wife as a great loss not only to the family but to the entire nation. Also, chairman of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Alhaji Abdulkadir BalarabeMusa said he received the news of Buhari’s wife death with rude shock and complete disbelief tocomment further.
Sympathisers throng Rimi’s home
However, friends and sympathisers yesterday continued to besiege the residence of the first civilian governor of Kano State, Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi, to commiserate with him and his family on the gruesome murder of his wife, Hajiya Sa’adatu in the early hours of Saturday.
Alhaji Rimi is yet to comment on the murder of his wife. The state police command is also yet to comment on the murder.
Detectives had literally taken over the house for several hours on Saturday to find a clue to the murder. Their visit and investigation delayed the burial until about 6p.m. Saturday.
Sources close to Alhaji Rimi believed the killers were after him and only went for the wife when they could not find their real target. The sources also believed some insiders were involved.
However, President Obasanjo in his letter of condolence to Alhaji Rimi said: "It was with great shock and sadness that I received the unfortunate news about the dastardly murder of your dear wife, Sa’adatu. On behalf of myself, my family and the entire nation, please accept our heartfelt sympathies on this painful and irreparable loss.
"It is even more shocking that at this critical time when we are building stronger and more viable platforms of tolerance, dialogue, understanding, peace, stability and security, that a few misguided persons could perpetrate such barbaric acts in our society. Rest assured that the relevant agencies have been directed to leave no stone unturned in apprehending the criminals and ensuring that they face the full weight of the law.
"I pray that God, in His infinite mercy and wisdom which surpass all human understanding, will give you the fortitude to bear this loss. May God grant Hajiya’s soul perfect rest in His bosom and that the very positive, peaceful and purposeful life she has lived on earth will remain a source of inspiration and direction to many, now and always.
"Once again, accept our very deep condolences."
Afenifere wants probe
Also yesterday, the Egbe Afenifere expressed shock at the brutal murder of Hajiya Saa’datu. In a statement, it said: "The dastardly act is a sad reminder of the Abacha years when women like the illustrious Alhaja Kudirat Abiola and Suliat Adedeji were brutally murdered.
"We ask for a judicial probe into this heinous act in view of the fact that the deceased’s husband, Alhaji Rimi, is one of the politicians whose critical views have made the present government uncomfortable in recent time. He recently quit the ruling PDP on account of its take over by undemocratic forces. The current edition of The Newswatch magazine carries an interview in which Rimi took the Obasanjo government to the cleaners.
"Only a credible inquiry stating the contrary can convince majority of Nigerians that Rimi’s wife death is not politically motivated."