Attah, first civilian governor of Kwara state dies

Attah, first civilian governor of Kwara state dies

Thursday, May 1, 2014 9:32 pm

Jamiu Yisa

The first civilian governor of the old Kwara State, comprising present day Kwara and some parts of Kogi states, Alhaji Adamu Attah, died today in Ilorin. And he has been buried according to Islamic rites.

It was learnt that the very elderly statesman was sick for a brief period.

The late Alhaji Attah was the first democractically elected governor of Kwara State, created by the military regime in 1976.

He was elected in 1979 on the platform of then National Party of Nigeria (NPN). But he rode to victory on the political structure of the late strongman of Kwara, Senator Abubakar Olusola Saraki.

He was governor of Kwara State between October 1979 and 30th September, 1983.

Between that time, Senator Olusola Saraki was the Majority Leader in the Senate.

However, in the run off to the 1983, the late Alhaji Attah had a face off with Saraki leading to the latter withdrawing his support for him.

Thus, the Olusola Saraki political machinery worked for the candidate of the rival Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in the 1983 governorship election in Kwara State, Chief Cornelius Adebayo. Attah lost the governorship election to Adebayo but the NPN had their pound of flesh on Saraki for making the party lose the Kwara governorship seat by removing him as the Senate Majority Leader.

In his reaction, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Ecology and Environment, Dr. Bukola Saraki said the death of the octogenarian was very sad. Saraki who was also governor of Kwara State for eight years described Attah as a statesman of repute, and a stakeholder in the Nigerian project whose records and antecedents are clear in the history of Kwara and Nigerian politics.

His words, “though gone, the impact of Alhaji Adamu Atah cannot be under estimated in Kwara politics and apparently, his role and contributions in the administration of Kwara State. His departure is painful, but the fact that his wealth of wisdom in the history of Kwara state administration will be missed is more painful,” Saraki said.

The governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Muhammad Dele Belgore, has also sent a message of condolence to the family of Attah.

In a condolence message signed by his media aide, Rafiu Ajakaiye, Belgore said: “the late Alhaji Atta departed at a time our country is in dire need of such core professionals and genuine statesmen to offer their wealth of experience. One of his undying legacies and contributions to humanity was his establishment of the Obangede Specialist Hospital. He would be sorely missed”.

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