Mallam Ismaila Isa Funtua, founding publisher of defunct Democrat Newspaper and former President of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), has died of cardiac arrest Monday night in Abuja.
CANDIID ONLINE learnt he will be buried Tuesday in the Federal capital city according to Islamic rites.
Before Ismaila Isa Funtua died, he was a businessman and a close ally and in-law of President Muhammadu Buhari, was chairman of Bulet Construction, which built the Federal Secretariat in Abuja.
Despite closing his newspaper, he remained committed to the print media and a defender of media freedom.
He was life patron of the Newspaper’s Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN).
The dead Mallam Ismaila Isa was born in Funtua, Katsina State about 75 years ago. Some friends put his age at 77-78.
He was a pioneer student of the Federal Training Centre Kaduna.
He later trained as an administrative officer at the Institute of Administration, Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria and as an administrator at the Manchester University in the UK.
He served at the Katsina Native Authority for seven years as an Administrative Officer.
Isa Funtua was also a former minister of water resources and had the national honour of Officer of the Niger (OFN).
Though Mallam Ismaila Isa Funtua is dead, he will be remembered for his unflinching loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Meanwhile, the President has condoled with family members, the government and people of Katsina State, and all associates of the former NPAN President, especially the media industry, on the loss, describing him as “greatly admired and respected’’.
It is worthy to be noted that Ismaila Isa Funtua and President Muhammadu Buhari are in-laws. Funtua’s son, Abubakar is married to a daughter of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The relationship of the Funtua family and the Buhari family dated back into the seventies and the eighties where the elder Funtua and the current Nigerian helmsman were both in the public service and the military respectively.