By Femi Bolaji, Jalingo
Jalingo, Taraba State capital, on Monday, was in a sombre mood. You could see through their eyes the pain and anguish. From young to old, man to woman, elite to peasant, all you could hear was, “she lived a good life.”
The barrage of tribute also cuts across both religious and political lining.
Sympathizers, both young and old, flooded the palace of the Emir of Muri, HRH Abbas Tafida, where the funeral prayers were to be held.
They besieged the road earlier than expected, causing security operatives to move in to ensure free flow of both human and vehicular movement.
Another set of sympathizers was stationed at the Danbaba Danfulani Suntai airport, awaiting the arrival of the remains of the ex-minister, Aisha Alhassan.
At the family house of the deceased, some sympathizers were also there to pay their last respects to the deceased.
The state government was also not left out, as it also received sympathizers from the presidency and Adamawa state government.
The remains of the ex-minister touched down Taraba some minutes past 5 pm on Monday amidst wails and tears from sympathizers.
The state deputy governor, Haruna Manu, led a government delegation to the airport to receive the remains of the minister.
The body after evacuation from the aircraft into an ambulance moved to the family house of the deceased before onward movement to the Emirs palace for the Janaiza (Funeral) prayer.
The remains were then moved to Jeka Da Fari’s burial ground where Alhassan was laid to rest.
Relieving her last encounter with the deceased, Janet Nyanjon said the memory of the ex-minister won’t fade away easily.
“My last encounter with her was at her residence. I got to her parlour and met a lot of people as usual, but she told me to move into the room.
“We spoke for long and even cracked jokes. I am driving to the burial ground no matter how late because even in death, I respect her.”
The state governor, Darius Ishaku, who also spoke while receiving a delegation from Adamawa State, said his relationship with the deceased defied political leaning.
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He recalled that after the 2019 elections, Alhassan who contested against him told him she was ready to work with him in the interest of the people of Taraba.
This he explained she (Alhassan) remained committed until her death.
The delegation from Adamawa, led by the state Commissioner for Works, Adamu Atiku-Abubakar, noted that Taraba had indeed lost an icon.
The Presidency also sent a delegation to the state Tuesday led by the Minister of State Works, Abubakar Aliyu, and accompanied by Minister of State, Science and Technology, Mohammed Abdullahi, and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
The state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, also bid farewell to the ex-minister who in 2019 moved to the party.
The party through its Publicity Secretary, Andeta’rang Irammae, described her death as a monumental loss not only to her immediate family but the country at large.
He said, “Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan, an accomplished civil servant, political icon and a grassroots mobilizer, was a founding member of the party in Taraba State.
“Her return to the party after the last elections boosted our standing in the political space and affirmed her love for the party.
“We recall with nostalgia her roles and commitment when she served as the Chairperson of PDP Assessment Committee in Taraba North Senatorial District recently and turned in a report that has greatly strengthen the party’s cohesiveness in the state. “Senator Aisha strongly believed in the institutionalization of the PDP not just in Taraba State, but also in Nigeria.
“Her loss is monumental to not just the Pa Alh. Ibrahim Sarkin Ayuka’s family, but also the party at the state and national levels, and Government of Taraba State.”
Vanguard News Nigeria
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