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July Review: First female pilot, Buhari’s associate, ex-ministers, other prominent Nigerians who passed away

July 2020 remains a notable month for the families of not less than 13 prominent Nigerians who were snatched by the cold hands of death.

Within those 31 days of the month, Nigeria lost its first female combatant helicopter pilot, Tolulope Arotile; an associate of President Muhammadu Buhari, Isa Funtua; and two former ministers, Sam Momah and Abdulganiyu AbdulRazaq.

Others are state officials, journalists and party chieftains.

While some of them died of COVID-19, some died of undisclosed ailments, while the cause of some could not be ascertained. Only Ms Arotile was involved in an accident that claimed her life.

PREMIUM TIMES, however, reviews the profile of these prominent people and the circumstances surrounding their demise

Chief of Staff to Borno Governor

Babagana Wakil, the chief of staff to Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum, died on July 1.

The Guardian gathered that the death might not be unconnected with high blood pressure and ulcer, which he had been managing for some time.

The last official engagement of the late Wakil was on June 1, 2020, when he represented Zulum at the foundation-laying ceremony of Army Referral Hospital.

Ondo Health Commissioner

The commissioner for health in Ondo State, Wahab Adegbenro, died on July 2.

Multiple sources in the government house told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr Adegbenro died at the state’s infectious disease hospital on Thursday.

The late health commissioner was born on June 5, 1955, at Ilara-mokin in Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State where he had his primary education.

He later attended Oyemekun Grammar School, Akure between 1962 and 1967, before proceeding to the University of Benin, in Edo to bag Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B; B.S).

He was a member of the Nigeria Medical Association; member of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria; Associate Member, Royal College of General Practitioners of London; and member of Nigeria Guild of Medical Directors.

APC former Chieftain

On July 6, a former national vice-chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Inuwa Abdulkadir, died.

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The 54-year-old was a member of the National Working Committee of the APC that was recently dissolved by the party’s National Executive Council.

He was from Sokoto State and was an Attorney-General and Commissioner For Justice in Sokoto State during the administration of Aliyu Wammako.

Mr Abdulkadir was also the Chairman and Pro-chancellor of Sokoto State University before his demise.

Chief of Staff to Kwara Governor

Aminu Adisa Logun, the chief of staff to Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara died of COVID-19 on July 7.

Mr Logun was a pioneer industrialist in Ilorin and an alumnus of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, Jos. He hailed from Ilorin, the state capital.

He was chairman of the 80-member Kwara State Transition Committee appointed by Governor AbdulRazaq before his inauguration last year.

died after a brief illness.

Until his death, Mr Braimoh was an active member of the state’s parliament and the chairman of its committee on information.

announced the death of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, Nigeria’s first female combatant helicopter pilot.

Ms Arotile died as a result of head injuries sustained from a road accident at its base in Kaduna.

According to the report of an investigative panel, the 24 years old was hit by her former classmate.

died on July 20.

Mr Isa-Funtua died while keeping a doctor’s appointment, according to family sources. He is suspected to have died of cardiac arrest as he was not known to be seriously sick.

died after a brief illness.

According to the management of TVC Communications, owners of TVC, TVC News and Max FM Lagos and Abuja, Iya Jogbo died after a brief illness from bronchitis and an enlarged heart.

Iya Jogbo as she’s popularly called, ventured into broadcasting in 1995, whilst on an internship at Radio Lagos by reading the news and presenting Radio Lagos Global Focus.

She was also an accomplished voice-over artist whose career began at the defunct Clapperboard. She presented the ‘Shoppers Guide’ in English and Yoruba (Karakata).

Former minister and Kwara governor’s dad

Ganiyu Folorunsho AbdulRazaq, the father of the incumbent governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq, died on July 25.

Mr AbdulRazaq, a former minister in charge of railways in the First Republic, passed on in Abuja at age 93.

The Mutawali of Ilorin and Tafida of Zazzau (Zaria), was Chairman of the Nigerian Body of Benchers and believed to be the first lawyer from Northern Nigeria.

He is survived by his 90-year-old wife, Raliat AbdulRazaq, children and grandchildren.

PDP Chairman

The Chairman of the Interim Caretaker Committee of the ruling-Peoples Democratic Party in Abia State, Johnson Onuigbo, died on July 28.

A member of the family told journalists on Tuesday that Mr Onuigbo died on Monday evening at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Umuahia.

Former Minister of Science and Technology

Former Minister of Science and Technology, Sam Momah, died on July 29 after suffering from diabetes complications.

The ex-official celebrated his 77th birthday on July 6, launching his 13th book which he titled: “Restructuring to save Nigeria from post-oil disintegration.”

The one- time Adjutant General and Commander, Training and Doctrine Command was also the pioneer Director of the National War College.

died on July 30 after a brief illness.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that Mr Fasanmi, a member of the House of Representatives in the First Republic and senator in the Second Republic, died at the age of 94.

He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Old Western Nigeria Housing Corporation in the old western region.

died of a sudden health crisis.

His death was confirmed by the former President of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lanre Ogundipe.

The deceased, who worked at the Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation as a DJ/Producer, and later with Radio Germany, was said to have died while being rushed to the hospital, following a sudden health challenge.

Mr Thomas returned from Germany some years ago to establish a community radio station, Cowrie FM, in Ogun State.

He was said to be in his 70’s.


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