President Buhari, Obasanjo Condole Ciroma’s Family

Late Mallam Adamu Ciroma
Late Mallam Adamu Ciroma

A flurry of condolence messages continue to pour in following the death of the 83-year-old Mallam Adamu Ciroma, a one-time Minister of Finance and an elder statesman.

President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Olusegun Obasanjo are among the early sympathisers who have expressed sadness over the death of the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Ciroma.

In a statement by Femi Adesina, Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, the President condoled the Ciroma family as well as the government and people of Yobe State on the death of the elder statesman.

The statement read, “The President believes that Ciroma as a political leader and federal cabinet Minister for Industries, Agriculture and Finance, at various points in his remarkable life, will be long remembered for his remarkable service and dedication to the country’s unity, progress and stability.

“President Buhari also affirms that the late former CBN Governor will be honoured too for his contributions in promoting democracy in Nigeria and his legacies should be a constant reminder to politicians who wish to work for the good of their communities and our great country.

“The President prays that Almighty Allah will grant Malam Ciroma eternal rest and comfort the elder statesman’s family, relatives, friends and associates.”

Also, the former president, Obasanjo described late Ciroma as a statesman who gave his best to his fatherland.

This was contained in a condolence letter dated Thursday, July 5, addressed to the wife of the deceased, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent in Abeokuta.

Adamu who was also a one-time governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria reportedly died in an Abuja hospital on Thursday after battling a protracted illness.

The former president also said the deceased was a distinguished public servant and one that was greatly admired by the general public and his peers as a straightforward and complete gentleman.

The statement partly read, “While words are hardly enough to express our sympathy at this time, you can definitely take justifiable pride in the fact that your late husband was a statesman who gave of his best to his fatherland.  He will be sorely missed by all of us.

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“Among other things, he will also be remembered as a distinguished public servant and one that was greatly admired by the general public and his peers as a straight-forward and complete gentleman.

“This, no doubt, is a moment of great grief for you and the entire family, but it is also clear that the deep sense of loss over the demise of your beloved husband is shared by many like me.

“He made outstanding contribution to the progress of the nation in many capacities.  He, no doubt, left behind a worthy legacy especially through his working careers as the District Officer, in Mambilla when Mambilla Plateau was almost inaccessible.

“He worked in the Premier’s office and later as the first Editor of the New Nigerian Newspaper from where he became the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria between 1975 and 1977.

“In all of these, he acquitted himself so diligently.

“Mallam Ciroma deserves all the tributes being paid to him by all his compatriots. Indeed, having had the privilege of close association with your late husband who was a friend and confidant for many years and my Minister of Finance during my administration as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 1999 and 2003.

” I can attest unreservedly to his being a democrat to the core and a committed patriot who worked tirelessly for the unity of the nation.”

Obasanjo also described late Ciroma as “a seasoned politician noted for his tremendous organisational ability.”

Born on November 20, 1934, Ciroma played numerous roles in government and politics during his lifetime.

He received his secondary education at Barewa College in Zaria, Kaduna State; and went to the University of Ibadan before going on to become the pioneer editor of New Nigerian Newspaper in Kaduna.

From 24 September 1975 – 28 June 1977, he was governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Two years later, he made an unsuccessful bid to become the presidential candidate of the National Party of Nigeria.

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Alhaji Shehu Shagari who won the NPN ticket and became on October 1, 1979, later appointed him as Minister of Agriculture (1982-83).

Ciroma would later play a prominent role in the return to civil rule in 1999. He was a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party and served as Minister of Finance from 1999 to 2003 under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.

Ciroma who was also a one-time Minister of Agriculture died at the Turkish Nizamiye Hospital, Abuja on Thursday after battling a protracted illness.

His death came two days after former Vice President Atiku Abubakar visited him at the hospital on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr. Abubakar, the 2019 presidential hopeful, met Mr Ciroma, both long-time allies, in coma, according the former vice president’s spokesperson, Paul Ibe.

Ciroma is expected to be buried Friday after Islamic rites at the National Mosque, Abuja.