President Muhammadu Buhari says the death of Ismaila Isa Funtua, his in-law and ally, has created a huge gap.
Funtua died at a hospital in Abuja on Monday night.
In a statement which Garba Shehu, his spokesman, issued on his behalf, the president said the deceased stood by him during his “political journey”.
“President Muhammadu Buhari received with deep sadness on Monday evening information on passing of his longtime friend and associate, Malam Isma’ila Isa Funtua, who was Life Patron of International Press Institute and Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN),” the statement read.
“The President condoles with family members, government and people of Katsina State, and all associates of the former President of NPAN, especially the media industry, on the loss, describing him as “greatly admired and respected’’.
“President Buhari believes the demise of the publisher and businessman has created a huge gap as Malam Funtua consistently stood by him in his political journey.
“The President prayed to Allah for repose of Malam Funtua’s soul, and to grant the family strength and fortitude to bear the loss.”
Funtua will be buried in Abuja on Tuesday.
The life patron of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria hailed from Katsina like the president.
He served as a minister under ex-President Shehu Shagari, who presided over Nigeria between 1979 and 198.