|Former FCT Minister, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, being consoled by his son, Sani, at the burial of Yasmine, at the Gwarinpa Cemetery, Abuja. Yasmine, his daughter, died last Sunday in the United Kingdom PHOTO: Sunday Aghaeze|
From Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The steely character of the former Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir El- Rufai, was broken yesterday at the interment of his first daughter, Yasmin, who died in London six days ago.
Emotions ran all over El-Rufai who fought back tears when sandwiched between his son, Sani and friend, Pat Ezekwesili, and other family members at the graveside, when the ministering cleric, Mohammed Kabir, exhorted the sympathisers about the inevitability of death.
"Death is inevitable and we should all be prepared for it; the only exception is that we don’t know when and where it is going to happen," Kabir said.
He prayed to God to grant the late Yasmin Aljanat Firdaus and give the family the strength to bear the loss.
Yasmin was lowered into the grave in line with Islamic traditions at about 10.30 am at the Gwarimpa Muslim Cemetery, Abuja.
A horde of political dignitaries and associates from across the country thronged the El-Rufai’s Asokoro residence early in the morning to commiserate with the family and pray for her sole.
From the home, the body was then taken to the National Central Mosque, Abuja, where the Chief Imam conducted a prayer service.
Some of the visitors who consoled the El- Rufais included former Military Head of State Major General Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari who was also the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the last general election, visited the family and attended the service at the central mosque and the cemetery.
Also in attendance was the former chairman of anti graft agency, EFFC as well as the presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the last general election, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. He was accompanied by his vice presidential candidate, Mr. Fola Adeola.
Others were the former Governor of Bauchi State, Ahmed Muazu; ex Governor Danjuma Goje of Gombe State; former Chief of Army Staff, General Adbulrahman Danbazzau (rtd); former Defence Minister and Secretary to Federal Government, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed; former Minister of Police Affairs, Waziri Mahmoud and former Minister of FCT Moddibo Aliyu.
Also at the occasion were former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode; business mogul Alhaji Isyaku Rabiu; former Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr Keem Bello-Osagie; businessman, Risqat Murtala Mohammed and Principal Secretary to the President, Ambassador Hassan Tukur.
While speaking with reporters, Ribadu and Fani-Kayode, described Yasmin’s passage as a painful loss. They both thanked the people for the outpouring of love for El- Rufai.
Ribadu recalled last seeing the deceased in June in London, describing her as a very "precious girl".
"She was a good girl, a gift of God - the first daughter of El- Rufai. It‘s a painful loss, but that is how Allah wished and that is how Allah wanted because He takes and gives and we can’t say anything other than to say thank you for the good life."
Yasmin’s body arrived in the country yesterday from London, where she was found dead in her house last Sunday.
The 25-year-old Yasmin held a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics (LSE). She also had a law degree from the University of London.
Culled from : Thisday