President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the death of one of his closest allies, Ismaila Isa Funtua, has created a huge gap.

Funtua died on Monday from a yet to be disclosed cause after falling ill for less than two hours.

He is touted to be a member of the ‘Cabal’, a group of influential persons around Nigeria’s President said to help him take key decisions.

President Buhari in a statement by Garba Shehu, his spokesperson, said the deceased stood by him during his political journey.

The statement reads, “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.

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“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 Funtua consistently stood by him in his political journey."

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