HUNDREDS of Muslims from within Abuja and environs yesterday attended the funeral prayers for the Chief Imam of Abuja National Mosque, Ustaz Musa Mohammed.
The cleric died on Saturday evening at the National Hospital, Abuja, of an undisclosed ailment. Aged 68, the late scholar, reputed for his frankness and moderation, was buried at the Gudu Cemetery, near Apo Legislative Quarters in the nation’s capital.
Funeral prayers were offered for the soul of the deceased, well attended by high level government officials both serving and former, including Vice President, Mohammed Namadi Sambo; Ministers of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed and Science and Technology, Dr. Abdu Bulama.
Also in attendance were two former FCT ministers, Mohammed Abba Gana and Senator Mohammed Adamu Aliero; two former Defence Ministers, Mahmud Yayale Ahmed as well as Dr. Haliru Bello Mohammed; Deputy Governor and Governor-elect of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje; former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu as well as a popular Abuja-based cleric, Sheik Abubakar Sadiq and former National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, and Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, among others.
Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa ád Abubakar III, was represented by the Etsu Nupe, Dr. Yahaya Abubakar while the Sarkin Jiwa and other traditional rulers from around the FCT attended the prayers.
Meanwhile, reactions have been trailing the passage of the cleric from individuals and organisations, including the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, who described Mohammed as an epitome of unity.
According to Buhari, the death of Ustaz Mohammed is a sad setback to the efforts to reunite Nigerians of various faiths after a very divisive campaign leading to the recent elections.
“He died at a time when the counsel of Nigerians of the highest calibre are needed to continue unification efforts,” Buhari said.
Reacting to the news of the death of Chief Imam, Buhari described the late Imam Musa as an inspirational leader who preached love among men and women and fought hard all his life to diminish cleavages and divisive tendencies in our country.
Buhari said the Imam’s name would occupy a proud place among those who worked for the unity, peace and the well-being of the Nigerian state.
“I join many who mourn him and in doing so, I am proud to remember a great son of Nigeria. May Allah repose his soul and grant his family and the nation the fortitude to bear his loss,” Buhari said.
Similarly, the Secretary-General of the Jama’atu Nasril-Islam (JNI), Dr. Khalid Abu-Bakr Aliyu and Malam Hafiz Wali, the Chairman of the Moon Sighting Committee of the NSCIA both prayed to Allah to forgive the cleric his sins and grant him eternal rest in paradise.
Also, Senator Bukola Saraki, in a statement issued on his behalf by Bamikole Omishore, described the late Imam as a renowned Islamic cleric of good conduct and a great symbol of guidance for Nigerian Muslims nationwide.