Prominent leader of Gbagyi people in Kaduna State, Dr. Danjuma Barde, died yesterday of a protracted illness.
Barde, aged 67, was immediately buried at his personal residence in Ungwar Rimi, with thousands of sympathisers in attendance.
The Kaduna State Government and Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) have eulogised the first-class chief as a peace-lover who died promoting peace and unity among citizens.
Governor Nasir el-Rufai described the late Esu Chikun as a traditional leader, who promoted peace and embraced the diversity that development and modernity brought to his chiefdom.
El-Rufai, in a condolence message to the Chikun Traditional Council and the Barde family, described the late chief as a peacemaker who did not flinch from the challenges of modernity but fully embraced the possibilities of diversity.
“The accommodating and constructive attitude brought immense socio-economic dividends to the people of Chikun Chiefdom, which is host to many of the most significant investment projects the government has attracted to Kaduna State since 2015,” the governor stated.
He also noted that Barde was courageous and outspoken, but always in the interest of peace, unity, and progress.
The governor said that Kaduna was grateful for the positive attitude of the late Barde and prayed God to grant him peaceful repose, as well as comfort his family and the entire Chikun Chiefdom.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for SOKAPU, Luka Binniyat, said: “We knew that he had been ill since last year. He was a man who believed in peace, fought for his people, and was ready to make sacrifices.
“The governments that he served under in the state went well with him. Even to the point of his death, he was looked upon as a traditional leader not only to the Gbaygi people in Kaduna but also to others all over Nigeria.
“We, in SOKAPU, see him as a traditional leader to look upon as father and source of strength.”