President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, sent a delegation to represent him in Kano at the burial of Alhaji Sani Dangote, younger brother of Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, who died on November 14 in the United States after a protracted illness.
Buhari had earlier commiserated with the Dangote family in Kano on the demise of Sani.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said in a release, that the body of the deceased was brought to Kano early yesterday.
The remains of Sani Dangote were laid to rest at the family cemetery in Koki quarters of Kano Metrolink after a funeral prayer at the palace of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero.
In a message to Alhaji Aminu Dantata, the patriarch of the Dantata family, and President of the Dangote Group, Aliko, Buhari paid tribute to the deceased, describing him as a business leader with a reputation for honesty and integrity.
The vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, also condoled with Aliko over Sani’s passing, calling the deceased not only a brother and friend, but also a part of the Buhari administration.
Captains of industry, governors, ministers, past and present National Assembly members, and heads of parastatals were among prominent Nigerians and friends of the Dangotes, who converged on Kano to mourn the deceased. Some of those who attended the burial, included Senate President Ahmed Lawan; former Senate President Bukola Saraki; House Leader, Mr Alhassan Ado Doguwa; Governor of Borno State Babagana Zulum; former Cross Rvier State Governor, Donald Duke, Chairman/ CEO of THISDAY Newspapers/ ARISE News channel, Prince Nduka Obaigbena; founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia; and businessman Femi Otedola. etc.
Other dignitaries at the burial ceremony included Senator Barau Jibrin of Kano North; Alhaji Abdulsaman Rabiu of BUA; former Governor of Nasarawa State, Mr Abdullahi Adamu; Ahmad Adamu Muazu; and Kashim Imam.
The president, in a letter sent through the delegation led by the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, described the late Sani as “an exemplary person who, along with his brother, Aliko, demonstrated the power of human spirit and determination.”
He thanked the Dangotes for spreading happiness and giving the country an appreciable identity before the world and also prayed Allah to grant fortitude to the Dantata and Dangote families over the loss.
The delegation met Hajiya Mariya Sunusi Dantata, mother of the Dangotes, and also consoled the Emir, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, the Emirate Council, and the people of Kano.
Kano State Governor Abdullaahi Umar Ganduje also received the delegation and thanked the president for sending such a powerful delegation to the burial.
In his condolence message, Ganduje said, “We received the information about the passing away of this gentleman, Alhaji Sani Dangote, with shock. Kano State, our dear country, Nigeria, and the business community have lost an illustrious son.
“But to all of us, particularly those from Kano State, we lost a rare gem in the business community. It is, therefore, on behalf of the government and good people of Kano State that I am sending our heartfelt condolences to the immediate families of Alhaji Sani Dangote and to his brother Alhaji Aliko Dangote over his death.”
President of Dangote Group, Aliko, and his uncle, Alhaji Aminu Dantata, expressed appreciation to the president and prayed for his good health and the success of the administration.
The presidential delegation included Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi; Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Mahmud Mohammed; Minister of Power, Engineer Abubakar Aliyu; Director General, Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Magaji Bichi; and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu.
On his part, Osinbajo said the late entrepreneur played a key role in some of the decisions taken by the present administration, especially, in the agricultural sector. He spoke yesterday in Kano during a condolence visit to the families of Dangote and Dantata.
Commiserating with the two families, the Kano Emirate, and the people of the state at large, Osinbajo said the demise of the businessman was a loss not just to his family and Kano State alone, but also to the entire nation.
Speaking at the family house, where he met Aliko, the deceased’s wife, Aisha, and other members of the family, Osinbajo said, “We are here to commiserate with you, the federal government already sent a delegation, they just left, but Sani was a good friend of mine, somebody I considered a collaborator.
“He was very instrumental in drawing up our tomato policy and there are several other agricultural policies that he was part of. He has left behind an excellent legacy; a man, who was committed to his country, to his family, and committed to his people.”
Osinbajo added, “It was a big shock for us that he had passed on. I want to extend my own personal condolence to you and other members of the family. This is a very sad event but I know that the Almighty God will comfort the family.”
Responding on behalf of the family, Aliko thanked the vice president for coming and noted that his kind words and prayers consoled the family.
While receiving Osinbajo at his palace, the Emir of Kano said his visit was yet another indication of his love for the state.
The emir stated, “Sani’s death is not only a loss to Kano State but a loss to all Nigerians, especially, the vice president, who has a long-standing relationship with the late Sani.
“I am sending my condolence to the family of late Alhaji and to the people of Kano State as a whole. The fact that the vice president is here shows his relationship and his love for the people of Kano. You know your good friends in bad times and in good times.”
The emir thanked both the federal and state governments for their efforts at improving the lives of the people through various development projects and pledged his support for the actualisation of more laudable programmes.
Sani, who was the vice president of Dangote Group, died at a hospital in Miami, United States of America. He had investments in manufacturing, agriculture, banking, and oil services. He also sat on the Board of several other companies, including Nigerian Textile Mills Plc, NutraSweet Limited, Gum Arabic Limited, Dangote Textile Mills Limited, Alsan Insurance Brokers, Dan-Hydro Company Limited, Dansa Food Processing Company Limited, and Dangote Farms Limited.
Sani was also Deputy Chairman of the African Gum Arabic Producers Association and a two-time President of Lagos Polo Club, in addition to being a professional polo player. He was a member of several Chambers of Commerce, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Shipping of Nigeria; and President of the Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association.
He was well known for his role as Chairman of Dansa Holdings, a subsidiary of the Dangote Group that produces beverages. He also owned Dansa Foods Limited, Dansa Energy, Sagas Energy Limited, Bulk Pack Services Limited, Dansa Agro Allied Limited, and Dangote Farms.