From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Umar, son of Labour Party National Chairman, has revealed that his father, Abdukadir Abdulsalam (Baraden Paiko) slumped on his bed and died instantly before him in the early hours of Tuesday.
Explaining the circumstances that led to his death in a telephone chat with Daily Sun while conveying his remains home, Umar said that though his father had visited his doctor last week, he was hale and hearty before the tragic incident that morning, noting that he even travel to Minna, his home state, on Christmas day to visit his grandparents.
He further described him as a very honest, accommodating, detribalised person, adding that the entire family will miss his fatherly counsel, support, assistance, and father figure.
Although he could not confirm his speculated age long illness, Bronchitis, Umar claimed that his father was full of life before retiring to bed on Monday night only for him to summon him in the early hours of Tuesday.
“He was very healthy and had to even travel to Niger State to visit his grandparents last week Friday, Christmas day and returned to Abuja thereafter. On Monday, we chatted and I even went to the market to buy some things for him. He was just very full of life.
“This (Tuesday) morning he tried reaching me but I was asleep. He sent for me but before getting close to him, I saw him slumped on the bed and died. He was not sick the previous night even though he had visited to see his doctor last week before his trip to Minna. As I speak with you, we are already taking his remains to Minna for burial,” he said.
Asked what the family will miss in him, Umar said: “We will surely miss him. He was an honest man and my role model. He taught me how to be independent and survive on my own. He taught me to be patient with people and how to go along with people. Until his death, he never kept malice with anybody. He never raised his voice on anybody.
“He carries everybody along irrespective of who was involved. Even as a Muslim, most of his friends and associates were Christians and they can testify how liberal and free he was with people. We will miss him because he had a very cordial relationship with every member of his family and since I called the granddaughter she has not stopped crying,” Umar said.
Equally reacting to his death, his bosom friend and National Secretary Opposition Coalition (CUPP), High Chief Peter Ameh, described him as a great icon and highly detribalised person, adding that he lived a life of selflessness.
In a statement titled ‘Tribute to my friend, colleague and brother, Ameh, a member of CUPP steering committee, described him as a great teacher, mentor, leader and an inspiration to many.
Quoting Martin Luther King, Jr, Ameh wrote: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Writing further, the immediate past President of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), said: “We fought side by side, so I can testify of your undying love and faith in our country, o great A.A Salam. I know first-hand of your fiery bravery and valour. You never shied away from confronting evil and injustice. You took the battle to villains and pretenders. You loved all but hated injustice.
“You served God and loved humanity with all your heart. You knew the Lord and appreciated His creatures whether they are Muslims, Christians or of other Faith’s. You were knowledgeable, exposed, experienced, widely travelled and tolerant.
“You were comfortable with all well-meaning people whether Muslims, Christians, young or old. You were a great teacher, mentor and leader. You inspired many, only bigots and those blindfolded with clannishness and nepotism failed to learn from you.
“You were a leading light, always seeking to promote others. You worked hard, played hard, fought hard, loved deep, felt deep, meant well, mixed well. You were a great icon. We felt your love, passion and commitment, drank from it, me, most of all, thanks for the love we shared. Thanks for trusting me. Thanks for all you were to me. Adieu!!! My dear friend, brother and father figure,” the statement read.