The younger brother of Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Yusuf, 58, died Sunday in a ghastly motor accident on his way to the airport in Abuja.
Expectedly, his death has drawn tributes and condolence messages from President Goodluck Jonathan, Senate President David Mark and former Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, among others. A statement by Sambo's spokesman, Alhaji Umar Sani, said until his death, Yusuf, a qualified pilot, had worked with the defunct Nigerian Airways and the presidential air fleet before retiring to private business. He is survived by a wife, three daughters and 10 brothers and sisters.
The statement said Yusuf had since been buried at the Apo cemetery, Abuja, according to Islamic rites. The funeral was witnessed by former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida and a former military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, among other dignitaries and sympathisers.
Jonathan later visited the vice-president at his official quarters to condole with him over his bereavement. The president, accompanied by his wife, Patience and other top government functionaries, expressed shock at Yusuf's death and prayed God to give the family the fortitude to bear the loss. While referring to the deceased as his own younger brother, the president said such people were needed at a time he and the vice-president were busy attending to national issues.
Responding, Sambo, who just returned from an official trip to Tanzania, thanked the president for the visit. He described his late brother as one of the most experienced pilots in the country. Mark also sympathised with Sambo over the death of his brother.
Mark, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, said he regretted that the deceased's life was cut down in his prime.
He also noted that the deceased, whom he described as a seasoned pilot, was one of Nigeria's best and an officer of high repute and prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest. In his own message, Obi described the death of Yusuf as unfortunate and shocking and prayed to God to console the family.